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England need Luke Shaw to face Netherlands in Euro 2024 semi-final – he has two attributes Kieran Trippier doesn’t have

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I’M really proud of Luke Shaw.

For him to go through what he’s been through in his career and come out the other side is amazing.

Luke Shaw must start for England in their Euros semi against the Netherlands

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Luke Shaw must start for England in their Euros semi against the NetherlandsCredit: Alamy
Shaw brings two key things to the table that Kieran Trippier doesn't

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Shaw brings two key things to the table that Kieran Trippier doesn’tCredit: Getty

All of a sudden England are in the semi-final of a European Championship and we’re crying out for him to be fit.

I remember the first time I played against Luke. It was on my birthday, New Year’s Day, in 2013. I think I was playing alongside Mikel Arteta in midfield. As usual at St Mary’s, we went 1-0 down but came back to get a draw.

Southampton have always had a reputation for bringing through players like Gareth Bale and for having a relationship with Arsenal.

Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were in the team that day, later on we bought Calum Chambers.

I had heard about Luke and after playing against him, I thought: ‘There’s another one off the production line – this kid can play.’

We had our first tournament with England together. He went to the 2014 World Cup as a really young lad, just 18. He was probably quite shocked he was there.

I was still quite young at that point. We struck up a really good relationship and he played a big part in my experience. We went to America before the tournament and when we had free time, we went to the beach or played golf together.

The group was really good with me and with Luke in particular. Joe Hart, James Milner and Jordan Henderson, they all really looked out for him and tried to help him.

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You’re buzzing to be part of the England squad. You don’t know the pressures from what’s gone before.

Luke played in the last game against Costa Rica and did well. That was a really disappointing tournament, so he will have learnt quickly about handling the pressure and what it was like to play for your country.

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After that, I would be injured or he would be injured and we weren’t often in the same squads. We went through similar things, had the same frustrations.

Like me, he was pushed from a young age and made it to the first team. We played a lot and were living our dream. Then all of a sudden, bang, it happens and then the problems start.

Just to come back from that broken leg he had would be amazing. But to have been able to play at the level he has for the last ten or so years —   World Cups, European Championships, Champions League — is incredible.

You have to be so resilient.

And you have to have a big belief in your ability. A belief bordering on the naive. Because when you are injured, the game moves on.

Players come into your club and try to take your position. You have to trust your ability and the process.

Look at the period the doctor gives you, six weeks or whatever, and try to work within that.

Make sure that when that six weeks are up, you are back and at your best. Then it’s down to you when you get on the pitch.  Manchester United have been through a lot while he’s been there.

People have said they weren’t good enough and needed a new left-back.

Jose Mourinho battered him, but Luke stuck it out and came through it. For England, people have talked about Ben Chilwell and others replacing him.

But Luke’s resilience and belief are why he is still there. That’s why Gareth keeps calling him up, for those qualities and his leadership.

In my opinion and Gareth’s, he’s the best left-back in the country.

It was worth the gamble taking him to this tournament.

Whenever I see someone come back from long-term injury, I look for two things.

Number one is how they manage the ball. You can do all the training, all the rehab drills you want, but then you are in a game.

Everyone is moving, there is 360-degree pressure. You have to find your rhythm straightaway.

Wilshere on Harry Kane

HARRY KANE should start against Holland.

But we need to be more pro-active with our substitutions and keep the energy in the team.

In the first half against Switzerland, we saw that if you set up in a certain structure, Harry can do it.

I hear people say, ‘Harry can’t press’ but of course he can.

Can he sustain it for 90 minutes? I’m not sure, he may prove us wrong.

But regardless of that, we have to be more front foot with our changes, rather than waiting and reacting to what the opposition are doing.

People used to talk about Gareth Southgate not taking Harry off.

He did it against the Swiss and it worked.

We proved we can win a penalty shootout without him.

So play Harry from the start and tell him: “Give me everything until you can no longer.”

Harry is OK with that. He’s the captain, he wants what is best for the team.

Luke did that really well against Switzerland. He didn’t give the ball away. He was clean. He made good decisions. The second thing is fitness. We didn’t really get to see that because of the state of the game when he came on.

What I remember from when I used to come back is that you have a three or four-game buffer where adrenaline gets you through. After that, you’re telling yourself, ‘I need to get fitter, and work on this’.

But the initial comeback is ‘I’m back, I’ve been waiting for this for ages’. I’m hoping that he can feed off that.

England need him. The biggest thing he brings is the natural width and balance. Both those things were better against Switzerland.

Kieran Trippier can’t really use the width because he’s right footed.

Shaw brings width you can use, he can get round the outside. His crossing is under-rated. He is also aggressive in duels. He naturally wants to press forward.

I think Luke would be fit enough to play as a wing-back. If you’re playing a back four and you are full-back, you have be really fit and hit certain markers.

But if you are playing as wing-back, you have that natural cover in the left centre-back.

Wilshere on Bukayo Saka

THERE are good reasons why Bukayo Saka is known as The Starboy at the Arsenal Academy.

What you see is what you get with Bukayo — the most humble superstar.

He’s someone that the players look to and look up to.

The question I ask my Arsenal Under-18s the most is: “Yes, Bukayo goes away with England and achieves all that he does but why?”

Because consistently, he is Arsenal’s best performer.

He earns the right to step up and take a penalty and steps up against the Swiss after missing a penalty in the Euro 2020 final.

There aren’t many players who would do that.

But why is he Arsenal’s most consistent player?

It’s the work he does, the time he puts in on the practice pitch, the type of person he is off the pitch, open to learning, being coached and suggestions of different ways of doing things.

He practises his weaknesses but also practises his strengths.

Bukayo has set the standard at our academy and keeps getting better, so we keep using him as an example.

You don’t go every time, you pick your moments.

I expect the Netherlands semi-final to be similar to the Switzerland tie, a game of spells. We must make the most of ours.

I’m so pleased Luke has the chance of playing.

When you go things like he and I have been through, it’s not easy.

People think, ‘It doesn’t matter, he’s on loads of money. He’s injured, but he’s still getting paid’.

But when you have the mentality we have, it’s not enough. You just want to play.

People are quick to forget players when they are injured. Luke will want to show how good he is.

I can’t believe he is still only 28.

He has experienced it all. Bad World Cup, good World Cup, Euros, being injured, people writing him off.

Luke deserves everything he gets.

England’s six tournament semi-finals

ENGLAND will play their seventh tournament semi-final in Dortmund on Wednesday, writes Martin Lipton.

Sun Sport recalls the other six – and remembers where it went right and wrong for the Three Lions

1966 Portugal (Wembley) W 2-1

This was the big test for Alf Ramsey’s “wingless wonders” and one they passed thanks to a masterclass by Bobby Charlton. Charlton steered home the opener from outside the box after Roger Hunt chased down Ray Wilson’s ball over the top and keeper Jose Pereira blocked.

His second was slammed into the bottom corner after Geoff Hurst pushed into his path. Portuguese superstar Eusebio pulled one back from the spot after Jack Charlton handled off the line but England held on.

1968 Yugoslavia (Florence) L 1-0

Alan Mullery became the first England player to be sent off as this European Championship semi-final descended into a kicking match. A forgettable game saw Alan Ball force one panicky clearance against the Yugoslav bar but few real chances before Dragan Dzajic sneaked in behind Bobby Moore to prod the winner past Gordon Banks with four minutes left.

Mullery was then dismissed for kicking out at Dobrivoje Trivic. Goals from Charlton and Hurst earned a 2-0 win over the Soviet Union in the third place game.

1990 West Germany (Turin) D 1-1 (West Germany won 4-2 on penalties)

Arguably England’s best performance under Bobby Robson ended in heartache and tears. Chances came and went at both ends in a whirlwind game before Andreas Brehme’s free-kick looped off Paul Parker to drop beyond a helpless Peter Shilton.

But Gary Lineker then turned Parker’s hopeful ball forward into an assist as he fired past Bodo Illgner. Paul Gascoigne was in bits after the booking that would have ruled him out of the Final and shoot-out misses by Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle were fatal.

1996 Germany (Wembley) D 1-1 (Germany won 6-5 on penalties)

Another story of what might have been as Gareth Southgate joined the long list of shoot-out victims. Terry Venables’ side made the perfect start when Gascoigne’s corner was flicked on by Tony Adams for Alan Shearer to score. But Germany soon levelled through Stefan Kuntz and both goals had narrow escapes in normal and extra-time.

Penalties again and while Shearer, David Platt, Pearce, Gascoigne and Teddy Sheringham all scored, Germany were equally strong. Southgate’s shocker made Andreas Moller the one to win it.

2018 Croatia (Moscow) L 1-2

Another near-miss for England, who ran out of legs and smarts just when it mattered most. Kieran Trippier’s sensational free-kick put Southgate’s side in front and they had the chances to put the Croatians away in the first half.

But they all went begging and Luka Modric and Co wrested control. Ivan Perisic stole in front of Kyle Walker to nudge the leveller and in extra-time Mario Manduzic ran in behind a slow-reacting defence to beat Jordan Pickford. So near, so far.

2021 Denmark (Wembley) W 2-1

“Sweet Caroline” has never been sung so loud and so long than after this epic evening. The Danes went in front from a terrific Mikkel Damsgaard free-kick but Simon Kjaer put through his own goal as he tried to prevent Raheem Sterling converting Bukayo Saka’s cross.

Extra-time brought the key moment, when Sterling went down in the box under pressure from Mathias Jensen. Skipper Harry Kane’s penalty was saved by Kasper Schmeichel but he knocked home the rebound to earn the first England Final since 1966.



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England need Luke Shaw to face Netherlands in Euro 2024 semi-final – he has two attributes Kieran Trippier doesn’t have
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