CHRIS SUTTON: Southgate did what Roberto Martinez was too afraid to do by taking Kane off

CHRIS SUTTON: Southgate did what Roberto Martinez was too afraid to do by taking Kane off

  • England will play their first major tournament final on foreign soil on Sunday
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Within a few seconds of Ollie Watkins being on the field, we saw him sprint forward to take Virgil van Dijk with him and then reverse his run in order to burst behind the Dutch defence into the space he had created. 

The ball over the top ultimately did not follow from John Stones, but that movement was precisely why Gareth Southgate substituted Harry Kane after 81 minutes and brought on Watkins. 

And ultimately, that is what got England through to the Euro 2024 final. Less than 10 minutes later, Watkins had the winner, his run being picked up by Cole Palmer, another substitute. 

With a beautiful turn and a brilliant finish, bang, 2-1. Kane is a great leader for his country and still an awesome striker for his club. 

We never doubted he would score his penalty last night, even if he did not get to take one in the shootout win over Switzerland, and he fashioned the odd chance including a trademark attempt from distance which was challenging for Netherlands goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen.

Taking Kane off for Watkins is ultimately what got England through to the Euro 2024 final

Gareth Southgate showed he has the ability to make the big calls by taking off his captain

Gareth Southgate showed he has the ability to make the big calls by taking off his captain 

But Southgate saw how England were fading as the second half wore on. Kane has his limitations as a centre forward, one of them being that he is not known for bursting in behind. 

Watkins does provide that movement, however, and Southgate took a brave call in changing it up before full-time. No matter whose name is on the back of the shirt, you’ve got to do what’s best for the team. 

We saw how Portugal manager Roberto Martinez did not have the cojones to hook Cristiano Ronaldo, which was costly for them. But Southgate did. He took Kane off. He brought Watkins on. 

Now, England are in the Euro 2024 final, and the debate will rumble on in the build-up to Sunday as to who should start up front against Spain.


Source From: Football | Mail Online

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