What a night - but England will need to sharpen up to beat Italy

Say it very quietly but it might be coming home……

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 9:18 am
Updated Thursday, 8th July 2021, 9:20 am
England players celebrate the Harry Kane goal that secured the Euro semi-final victory over Denmark / Picture: Getty

Another memorable night at Wembley which surely ranks right up there in its 98-year history, and for me it brought an almost cathartic sense of redemption.

Clearly I wasn’t going to broadcast it from the rooftops at the start of the tournament , but I went 30 years and four months, Feb 1977 to June 2007, without seeing England score a goal, let alone win a game.

Granted it was only five games, v Holland, Italy, Scotland, Germany and Portugal, but some kind of curse/hoodoo was always at the back of my mind.

It was only good old John Terry who broke the hex in the first ever game at the new Wembley against Brazil, and with the exception of that fateful night in November 2007 when the ‘Wally with the Brolly’ picked the wrong goalkeeper against Croatia and we missed out on Euro 2008 qualification, it’s been plain sailing ever since.

In the past three weeks I’ve seen us beat Croatia, Germany and now Denmark, surely there’s no going back now?

Positives from last night: WE WON. Negatives, if we play like that we won’t beat Italy on Sunday. Did none of Southgate’s backroom team at half-time of extra-time advise him to rest Harry Kane and get the fresh Marcus Rashford on? At least Grealish will be relatively fresh for the challenge on Sunday.

Unfortunately off the pitch was the biggest negative for me, yet more booing of an opponent's national anthem. Perhaps we need a pre-match video Sunday from Gino D'Acampo and Ainsley Harriott asking everyone to behave themselves during the anthems? Now there’s a thought...