Alan Shearer believes England win “never ever have a better opportunity” to win the Euros than this after last night’s heroic 2-0 win over Germany.
Speaking live from Wembley after the game, the former Newcastle United no.9 also discussed why this win justifies our push to top Group D – especially now the draw has opened up in our favour.
Yes, finishing first in the group phase set up a scary-looking last 16 clash with the Germans, however it’s now looking like a masterstroke given Ukraine and Denmark / Czech Republic are all that stands between us and the final on July 11th!
Shearer was also delighted to see Harry Kane score his first goal of the tournament, believing his late strike to make it 2-0 could spark the Spurs star into life, and praised Southgate’s decision to stand by Sterling.
Here’s what Big Al had to say when speaking on BBC1, starting with this thoughts on our side of the draw:
“If you could have picked something like that [draw] then you would have.
“As I said before the game, there’s a lot of talk saying ‘we can’t finish top because we might play France or Portugal’ or whoever.
“You’ve got to go on and see what happens. We’ve beaten Germany and we’ve done it in an impressive way!
“The draw is decent I would say. England will never ever ever have a better opportunity of winning the Euros than this opportunity now!
“They’re at Wembley, I know they go away for the next game, but if they’re lucky enough to get to a final that would have been six games at Wembley.
“You can’t ask for any more than that with an atmosphere like this. They’re right behind the players – and the players are responding!”
Shearer then talked up the importance of that Harry Kane goal, also praising the contributions of Jordan Pickford – who made two huge saves between the sticks – along with the ‘superb’ Luke Shaw and John Stones:
“That’s what happens when you put balls in the box, when you have players to run at the defence,”
“We’ve been waiting for Harry (Kane) to ignite and that might just start his tournament off. He found it tough, his movement wasn’t great but that’s what starts you off. He had the opportunity in the first half, he didn’t but you keep on going, that is just what might get him going now.
“It’s a good save (Pickford from Muller). He was quick to react in the first half, he made himself big. Two very important saves.”
“Luke Shaw, John Stones everything they dId was superb – onwards and upwards.
Last but not least, Shearer praised Southgate’s decision to stick with Sterling – the ‘boy from Brent’ who stepped up once again to score the all important opener for England:
“The manager deserves huge credit for sticking with Sterling.
“There was a lot of criticism flying around before the tournament, and when the manager sticks with you you’ve got to go out and perform, and nobody’s performed better than Raheem Sterling in this tournament for England.
“He’s been their go-to guy for the games.”
An unforgettable day as an England fan and outstanding win.
Now it’s time to make it count and get past Ukraine on Saturday night!