Gary Neville believes England’s path to the Euro 2020 final against Italy was similar to that of previous German teams.
England started the competition slowly but improved in the knockout stages, delivering electrifying performances to defeat Germany and Ukraine before grinding out a hard-fought semi-final victory over Denmark.
The Three Lions have only conceded one goal in the competition so far, and Neville praised Gareth Southgate’s side’s progressive growth throughout the competition, praising their remarkable defensive record.
Gary Neville feels England’s march to the Euro 2020 final against Italy has been “German-like.” Neville also praised England’s defense, which has only conceded one goal thus far in the tournament.
The way we’ve gone about this event is almost German-like.
We started gently, deliberately, and pragmatically, keeping clean sheets and doing what we needed to do, then improving as the tournament progressed.
‘I mentioned that on ITV’s Euro 2020 Final Preview show,’ he claimed.
‘We had a little bit of luck in the semi-final, which we always thought the Germans had against us in 1990 and 1996.’
If it were another country, we’d be applauding this.
They’ve put up some incredible performances.
The manner in which they’ve managed to keep clean sheets
I’m amazed the defense has managed to keep five clean sheets.
‘It’s wonderful to see how much they’ve improved.’
Gareth has gotten that team to the point where you can absolutely trust them defensively.
‘I didn’t trust them before the tournament, so I hold my hands up.’ Neville did mention England’s defence as an issue of concern before the tournament started, highlighting a lack of depth in defensive areas.
‘Talk about the flair players at national teams that win championships, but they usually have the greatest defenses, and that’s where I think England is relatively lacking in those attacking alternatives,’ he told Sky Sports ahead of England’s first match against Croatia.
‘It’s a concern, especially when you’re up against elite nations with experience who will wait and be patient in games for that one decisive moment.’
‘I think England will have to be at full steam, and that’s not only the defenders; the goalkeeper will have to have a wonderful tournament, and the two in front of that back four or five will have to really play well, and I believe that’s the possibility England has.’