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England Capture the Spirit of West Ham to Clinch Victory

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As the England substitutes warming up on the touchline were asked to sit down again by manager Gareth Southgate, everything seemed very familiar.

It wasn’t just the lack of substitutes that would have been recognisable to West Ham fans though. By the 70th minute of the game, the Three Lions had retreated to such a deep position that Switzerland could do nothing but attack Jordan Pickford’s goal. There was no pace, no outlet ball; the left-hand side wasn’t working, players were out of position, and Harry Kane was defending in his own 18-yard box.

The tactics would have been extremely familiar to every West Ham fan who has watched this style of football over the last four years, so when Switzerland predictably went 1-0 ahead, it all seemed lost.

However, just like West Ham’s former manager David Moyes, England’s Gareth Southgate is reactive rather than proactive. Just like The Hammers, the boys in white had to go behind to prompt some urgency from the bench and so it proved.

Immediately, three substitutions were made, balance was restored to the left-hand side, and England scored the equaliser which took the game to extra time.

The extended period offered little comfort as terrified England retreated even further while the Swiss peppered the Three Lions’ goal. Extra time was more like Fury vs. Usyk round 9, where the Ukrainian battered Fury without return. England survived the onslaught and seemed to accept this fixture was destined to be settled from the penalty spot.

Yet somewhere hidden within the paralysis was a nugget of strategy. We might not like it, but Southgate was playing for penalties, and he got it right. Set piece specialists Ivan Toney and Trent Alexander-Arnold were introduced in preparation for the shootout, and they didn’t disappoint.

So, England live to fight another day and move on to the Euro 24 semi-finals, and I must admit to belatedly catching the Euro bug.

Special mention to Bukayo Saka for a great goal and having nerves of steel to dispatch his penalty.

Is football coming home? I’m not sure, but we’ve at least made it to the service station.

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0 comments

  • Mick C says:

    Bowen and Gordon should do a Ben White and xxxx England off
    Both have been treated like **** by Southgate

  • NorfolkHammer says:

    F@@K England national team & Gareth Horsegate

  • D says:

    Much better performance today not brilliant but getting the job done.
    I’m English I don’t care who is playing as long as they play their heart out. Which I think they did today

  • NorfolkHammer says:

    ha ha ha glad you think that way was like watching Moyes ball utter crap 😄

  • D says:

    Yeah granted I thought previous games were deffo Moyes ball but today they were miles better than the Swiss and unlike watching us last season we did have quite a few players in their half most of the game rather than 10 in our own penalty area. 😄

  • Kevlar says:

    We will get found out against the Dutch unless we find a left back as we are exposed on that side. Frimpong from Leverkusen will cause us all sorts of problems! Just hope I’m wrong and we attack them as van djik isn’t the player he once was and lacks pace

  • Roy says:

    What game were you watching ? Did you see Rice hit a long distance shot that had Somer scrambling it was the last 2-3 minutes we looked a bit tired Bellingham& Mainoo controlled midfield the only complaint was why wait for them to score before making changes ?

    • Hammeroo says:

      Because Gareth Moyes is the same as David Southgate. Both are reactive and not proactive. Simples!

      • Pongo says:

        Southgate loves to play moyesball, and yet he has a hammer in the sqaud who is used to playing that way but doesn’t use him, my line up for the Dutch game would be pickford stones, konye, guehi, Shaw, saka, Palmer, Bellingham, bowen, stoney and Watkins, stick kane on the bench with mainoo, and the rest of the tired under performing squad.

  • Pongo says:

    Kpnte, and toney spelling errors

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