Euro 96 : Against Switzerland, only Southgate rose to the occasion

Before I became blogger during France ’98, I was a journalist.

Did both for a while, then left journalism when I saw the way it was going.

Was always a football fan.

But not like most people who support one club.

More a fan of football who used to keep hardback notebooks on each World Cup and European Championship.

For my own reference.

My dad used to say: There’s no memory like the pen and ink.

On Sunday night I found two long-forgotten lines about Gareth Southgate.

In my big red Euro 96 notebook.

The Collins IDEAL Feint 6438 book is almost a ledger.

I was quickly scribbling my immediate comments and verdicts.

In that tournament I only attended two matches as a punter, with friends.

But also saw the Final from the press box.

I wasn’t a Terry Venables fan but some hacks loved him because he gave them stories and cracked jokes. England 96 had as many Cockney boys as Tel could cram into his squad and the lads had a few escapades in the Far East which made the tabloids.

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Word for word from my Collins notebook without punctuation:

News at 6 : Venables at pc at Bisham saying:  Why do you believe Cathay Pacific rather than us? I have never heard him sound so unconvincing or look so unconvincing. The moment when his acting broke down

News at 10 : Similar footage, different angle, different words but not quite as bad. he was unconvincing but not as unconvincing as he was on News at Six.

We drew that game 1-1 and the lame performance exposed the limitations of Terry Venables, the clever Cockney who used to hang out with Des Lynam.

I wrote :

he took off McManaman our best forward. a bigger o.g. than taking off Lineker in ’92 (we were losing that game)

My scribbled notes are patchy (and ambiguous in places):

“We were dead on our feet second half.”

WHY?

WE LOOKED UNFIT.

On Capital Mullery said the Swiss looked much stronger and fitter than us.

WE DONT HAVE A FITNESS COACH.

Southgate was our best player and our fittest.

Are we the only one of the 16 who DONT have a specialist fitness coach?McManaman was our best defender because when he had the ball the Sewiss didn’t. Mullery agreed with a  caller that Macca sub was a question mark against Terry’s judgement.

OUR MIDFIELD VANISHED

OUR MOMENTUM.

WOT DID HE SAY AT HALF TIME?

We needed to improve by 40% H2.

But we got worse and Swiss improved by 60%

It’s  a ONE MAN TEAM- If Gazza plays, England play.When he fades, there is no Plan B

This vindicates everything Ive been saying. WE COULD EASILY HAVE LOST.
Gazza = a wreck

need a left foot on the wing

Movement off ball v poor

Inces energy wasted

Shearer lacks skill

No understudy.Our defence lacks pace.

NOT AN AD FOR TELS PERMISSIVE MGT STYLE

NIGHTCLUB TEAM

3 Lions 3 wine bottles

I said Gazza could not play 3 games in  9 days. I was wrong- he cant play three half-games in 9 days

We looked raw: Neville Adams Anderton rusty

Only Southgate rose to the occasion

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4 years ago I was excited and writing this:

Samurai Sanchez, 25, joins Arsenal for £35 million