Glenn Hoddle: Beating Germany another mental breakthrough for England and Southgate

Gareth Southgate
Gareth Southgate has got everything spot on so far, says Glenn

Glenn Hoddle believes Tuesday's victory over Germany was another stepping stone for England towards tournament success, but he warns there's plenty of hard work left to do...

"In a tournament, there's this feeling of 'everyone together' and with another 40,000 that's going to be frightening for any team that is going to play against us."

A wonderful evening

It would have been be the best breakfast Gareth and his squad will have ever tasted in their lives this morning. The camp will be absolutely buzzing. It was a wonderful evening of football for England.

Gareth will have to bring them down and the staff will have a big job on their hands, but these players are very professional, and with less time to prepare for the next game and it will all be about rest and rehab for those that played, with more training sessions for the rest of the squad.

The right tactical call from Southgate

Joachim Loew Thomas Muller 1280.jpg

The balance of the side was really nice. I was wondering if Gareth would match up and go with the same system as Jogi Low and he did. I think he looked very closely at the opponents and he saw them cause good teams - like Portugal - problems with their wing-backs getting so high. He looked at that and learned a lot from it and thought 'they could cause us problems'.

Southgate learned a lot from watching the videos of the previous games and thought we have the capability and individuals to match Germany and then hoped the players would win the one v ones and take the chances when they come.

Germany didn't take their chances; Werner and Muller had the two which were probably the best of the game and they didn't take them - which was the difference. Germany sides gone past, those chances would have been in the back of the net and tears for us, but we took our chances.

England played in moments, in spells, but have looked really solid and don't look like conceding.

Expect the best of Kane now he's off the mark

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Harry Kane is off the mark and I think we'll see the best of him - and not just because he's scored, but because he's grown in confidence. Kane might be the one that drags England over the line and helps us win this. When he ran to the corner flag after he scored you could see all the emotion. He might say he wasn't stressed but that reaction to scoring is a release.

Alan Shearer went through it before Euro 96, top strikers all go through it, and they'll always say they're not worried, but you could just see in his celebration that there's something going on in the chemistry of his body in that release he had and the confidence he had after that in his all-round play, holding up well and being involved in moves more than before.

Harry will do everything now with a smile on his face after the chains have been taken off his shoulders and this is fabulous news for England.

We have this player who has scored more goals and got more assists than anyone in the Premier League - probably the toughest league around - and now he could be firing on all cylinders. There's a lot of positives for Gareth and Harry Kane.

And a word for Jordan

Jordan Pickford has been excellent in goal, he's made really good saves whenever he's been called upon and he didn't panic in the one v one against Muller. He made himself big and stayed up to give him the angle where he shoots across the ball and goes away from the post rather than allow him to bring it inside at the near post, that was clever.

Beating Germany another important stepping stone

The penalty shoot-out win against Colombia at the World Cup was a mental breakthrough for the group and it might allow us to enjoy and look forward to a penalty shoot-out if we face one.

And now beating Germany, although it's the last 16 and there's a lot of work still to do, is another mental barrier that's been broken.

They've always been a very good side - they're going through a big of a rebuild, but every country has to do that - and it's a significant victory, another stepping stone. Gareth's team have slowly but surely started to progress and it's no longer 'it's about time we win a tournament' or 'we need fate' but real signs.

Full marks to Southgate

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He's been loyal to his players and rightly so. When you're an England manager during the course of a season it can be difficult, but when it comes to a tournament you become a club side for that four or five week period. He's got the spirit spot on and that's grown since the World Cup.

Gareth been great in his selection and picked the right team for the right scenarios. People will never agree on an England team, they'll always include their favourites and if they're a supporter of Villa you want Grealish in and if you're a supporter of Man City you Foden in, Chelsea and Mount.

The England manager has to pick what he feels right and he's closer to the players than anybody else. There is nothing that Gareth has done wrong, everything is positive. We haven't conceded a goal yet.

Keeping feet on the ground

Beating Germany will give England lots of confidence, but there won't be any complacency in that group; Gareth and his staff will work hard on that. Let the country and fans enjoy it, let them go mad and explode when we've won games and scored goals; the players will keep their feet on the ground.

You can't get to the final or semi-final right now and you just have to take every game as it comes, you can't do anything else. Nobody will remember how we played in the group stages or being poor against Scotland or other matches if you get to the semi-final or final.

If we get Belgium, Spain or Italy in the final then it's the only time we will meet one of the favourites and anything can happen at Wembley with 60,000 plus fans. That place was rocking on Tuesday with 40,000. In qualifiers, there's a certain set of fans at Wembley but it's a different atmosphere in a tournament.

Players feed off good support

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It's fantastic to have the crowd when you're winning, but you need them there, more importantly, when it isn't going so well. If we go 1-0 down or it's 0-0 and we're not playing well, that's when a test for a crowd is there, but they just want England to do so well and expect us to go out and beat every team we face.

We're not going to get that in Rome and we'll have to deal with that on out own. If we get through and get to the semis it will be very exciting. The roof at Wembley could be taken off if England go 1-0, 2-0 up.

In a tournament, there's this feeling of 'everyone together' and with another 40,000 that's going to be frightening for any team that is going to play against us.

We can go all the way but it's not an 'easy' route

When you get to a semi-final of a World Cup, that gives you confidence. When we played against the stronger teams in 2018 - Belgium and Croatia - we came unstuck, but it's about growing as a group of players and they'll be stronger and more experienced for it.

I think England have a better team than the World Cup squad, there's some real flair in there and they're growing as players. I think we can go all the way and win it and we'll never have a better chance, looking at the route to the final.

It's easier, but it's not easy. I think that's the philosophy we've got to look at. It's an easier route in but it's not going to be easy. If anyone out there thinks it's going to be easy, then they're down the wrong road.

**

Check out Glenn's verdict on Saturday's Ukraine game here

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