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England fans pick out Gareth Southgate’s two genius decisions that took Three Lions to Euro 2024 final

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FANS have picked out two crucial decisions which Gareth Southgate made on the way to firing England to the final of the Euros.

Substitute Ollie Watkins won the game for England tonight after coming on in the 81st minute.

Ollie Watkins scored England's last minute winner from the bench tonight

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Ollie Watkins scored England’s last minute winner from the bench tonightCredit: AP
He was set up by fellow sub Cole Palmer

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He was set up by fellow sub Cole PalmerCredit: EPA

The Aston Villa striker took his chance brilliantly, after being set up by fellow substitute Cole Palmer.

Watkins took the ball with his back to goal, before turning quickly and firing into the bottom left corner.

Southgate has been criticised throughout this tournament for taking his time with his subs but timed them perfectly tonight.

He brought Luke Shaw on at half time tonight for Kieran Trippier, before Watkins and Palmer came on for Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka in the 81st minute and made their crucial contributions.

Fans have also pointed to the decision to bring on Ivan Toney after 94 minute in the round of 16 against Slovakia as a crucial moment.

He was in the mix as Marc Guehi assisted Jude Bellingham‘s iconic bicycle kick, before setting up the winner for Kane in extra time.

Fans on X have been eating their words about Southate’s subs and tactics after England made a consecutive Euros final tonight.

Ivan Toney set up Harry Kane's winner against Slovakia in the round of 16

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Ivan Toney set up Harry Kane’s winner against Slovakia in the round of 16Credit: Rex

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One said: “Whatever people say about Southgate, he brought on Toney who assisted Kane’s winner, tonight he brought on Palmer and Watkins who combined for the winner.”

Another said: “Credit where credit is due, Gareth Southgate got every decision right tonight.

The Sun’s Charlie Wyett praises England as Ollie Watkins 90th minute winner puts Three Lions into Euro 2024 final

“From the tactical setup, to the timing of the substitutes, he got everything spot on. Takes some serious bottle to take your captain off but it paid dividends for the Three Lions.”

While a third wrote: “Na England actually balled today.. fair play to Southgate.”

While a fourth wrote: “1st half excellent, 2nd half average, but finally a bit of bravery to take off Kane and Watkins came up trumps with a cracking finish.

“I’m as big a Southgate critic as most, but you can’t take it away from him or the team tonight, we’ve made the final, terrific effort.”

England will play Spain in the final of Euro 2024 on Sunday.

England’s five-point penalty shootout plan

EXPERT football psychologist Professor Geir Jordet has told Gareth Southgate and his players what they can do to give themselves the best chance of victory in any shootouts.

And he has even thrown in a rogue, bold suggestion for the Three Lions manager…

1. START PLANNING LAST YEAR 

“It’s about planning for the opposition’s penalty takers but also ‘how do we win the psychological game against each opponent?’

2. SMART SOUTHGATE LEADERSHIP

“Southgate will have two minutes to influence his players as effectively as possible, show he has a plan and get confidence across.”

3. DICTATE AS A TEAM

“A shootout is really a team performance. Have the goalkeeper walk with the penalty taker into the penalty area to basically create a two-versus-one against the other goalkeeper. Dominate the centre circle, support the players who missed.”

4. ‘BULLETPROOF’ INDIVIDUAL ROUTINES 

“Have really good, individualised and rehearsed pre-shot routines that are bulletproof and polished so they’re more likely to be able to resist the stress and more likely to score.”

5. SHOOT YOUR SHOT  

“Practise the shot itself, trying to simulate penalty shootouts in training. Even recreating 20 per cent of a Euros final penalty shootout is going to have a benefit for your performance.”

AND A JOR DROPPING IDEA…

Jordan Pickford is the No1 but Dean Henderson actually has a far better penalty record – saving 8/22 (36 per cent) compared to Pickford’s 8/62 (13 per cent).

Jordet said: “One could consider making a late substitution for a penalty shootout. I doubt that they dare to do it in case it fails and the pressure is even higher but it would be a very ballsy move.”



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England fans pick out Gareth Southgate’s two genius decisions that took Three Lions to Euro 2024 final
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