Former Crawley schoolboy praised for 'tactical masterclass' as England reach Euros final

Gareth Southgate celebrates after the team's victory in the UEFA EURO 2024 semi-final match between Netherlands and England at Football Stadium Dortmund on July 10, 2024 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Gareth Southgate celebrates after the team's victory in the UEFA EURO 2024 semi-final match between Netherlands and England at Football Stadium Dortmund on July 10, 2024 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Gareth Southgate celebrates after the team's victory in the UEFA EURO 2024 semi-final match between Netherlands and England at Football Stadium Dortmund on July 10, 2024 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Former Crawley schoolboy Gareth Southgate has lead England to their first ever major tournament final on foreign soil.

Ollie Watkins’ last minute goal ensured a 2-1 win against the Netherlands to set up a final against Spain in Berlin on Sunday (July 14, 8pm kick off).

It means Southgate, who went to school at Hazelwick and Pound Hill Juniors, has now lead England to two major tournament finals in eight years.

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The former Crystal Palace defender has faced criticism for most of the tournament for lacklustre performances but once his substitutions and decisions have seen England go deep into a tournament.

And he is finally getting the credit he deserves after the win against the Dutch, with two of his substitutes, Cole Palmer and Watkins combining for the winner.

ITV pundit Gary Neville said: “Maybe he waits a little longer to make substitutions than we would at home. I think making the substitution at half time was a good one bringing [Luke Shaw] on giving them that balance.

"There is no one more experienced Englishman than Gareth Southgate in tournament football in England’s history in terms of playing and coaching. He has been through more tournament scenarios than anyone. He has been there seen that done that.

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"We have got to trust him and his has delivered on so many occasions.”

And England fans took to social media to praise Southgate, whose parents still live in Crawley.

@JFS1Macca posted on X: “Won us more knockout games in six years than we won in the previous 50 and has just taken us to our second major final on the bounce. Give Gareth Southgate the respect he deserves.”

Piers Morgan, who also hails from Sussex, posted: “Chuffed for Southgate. We’ve all doubted him during this tournament, but he’s got us to another final, and I think we’re going to win on Sunday.”

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@jack_stainton said: “Incredible England! And all those calling Gareth Southgate, hang your heads! #Eurocopa2024 #ENGLAND”

@Ricker666 posted: “So...Will it be Sir Gareth Southgate on Monday then?”

@MisterChiping posted: “Gareth Southgate is the FIRST coach in the WHOLE history of Euros to have THIRTEEN CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH NO DEFEATS. In fact, Southgate's England has NEVER lost a Euros game. #EURO2024.”

@CharlieBarnicle said: “I would've said this no matter what happened this tournament for England but Gareth Southgate deserves so much more credit than he gets. Tactically is he the best, no. But at basically every other aspect he's great, and that's exactly why he's done what he's done, should be loved.”

@AdamTheGaffa said: “Gareth southgate with a tactical masterclass who would of thought ay not me nooot me but weeeew sometimes I dont mind being wrong.”