UEFA Euro 2020: England 2 Germany 0

As you may know, I am critical of the game of football when played at the international level. Two weeks ago, I watched England play Scotland, a goal-less draw, and posted a scathing review of the game. It was boring, boring, boring. Consequently, I was somewhat reluctant to tune in to yesterday’s match between England and its arch-enemy, Germany, and nine hours before the match was due to start, I sent an email to my sister, Maureen, aka Mozz, with the following advice and prediction:

Here is what Southgate [England’s manager] should say to the England football team before they run onto the pitch this evening: ‘Remember; the only way to score goals is to approach the German net and shoot. If you pussyfoot around playing midfield pat-a-cake, you will lose. Fer chrissakes, dribble the ball past the German defenders and have a go at goal. Don’t forget: scoring goals is the objective of the game.’

My forecast for tonight’s score: England 0 Germany 2.

Well, it would seem that Mozz forwarded my advice to Gareth Southgate and he used my exact words in his final address to his players before sending them out to meet the German opposition and, guess what—the players took my advice and won!

I didn’t watch the game from the beginning. I picked up just after half time and it was like chalk and cheese when compared to the desultory game two weeks ago. The white-cladded English players were up and down the pitch, dodging in and out of the black-cladded German players and, when the opportunity presented itself, shooting for goals. It was like a fluid chess board in which the black and white squares were all in constant motion against a green background. Incredible.

So, for what was possibly the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed a game of football and even expressed my enjoyment with euphoric shrieks of ‘England has just scored a goal,’ closely followed by, ‘England has scored a second goal,’ when it all happened in the last fifteen minutes.

I am glad Gareth Southgate took my advice and I hope he will use the exact same advice again when England play Ukraine next Saturday. I’ll be watching!

Oh, and in my prediction to Mozz that the score last night would be England 0 Germany 2, that was just a typo. I had meant to type England 2 Germany 0!

And, if you’ll believe that, you’ll believe anything!