Gareth Southgate has revealed that the rivalry that England has with Germany is irrelevant to the current crop of players. He maintained that all history will go out of the window when the two sides face each other on Tuesday. There will be nearly 40,000 fans present at Wembley for the round of 16 ties. England suffered heartbreak in the 1970 world cup as well as the ghost goal in 2010. The Italia 90 and Euro 96 penalty shootout losses are still remembered by England fans.
“I don’t need to demystify it,” England manager Gareth Southgate said of the rivalry with Germany. “The history is an irrelevance for them. We’ve got boys born into the 2000s, which is obviously scary but it’s the reality of the group we’re dealing with. It’s of no consequence to them what we did in, you know, Peter Bonetti in 1970 and what happened in 1990 and so on. Of course, they’re watching that stuff and getting a bit of an understanding of it but it’s not something we’re speaking to them about.”
“This team have put down lots of historical performances in the last couple of years, made their own history, made their own stories and this is how they should view this game,” he added. “It’s an opportunity. We’ve only won one knockout match in a European Championship as a country, so they’ve got a great chance to go and be the first team since 1996 to do that.”
England has only managed to score two goals in the tournament thus far. Their defence has been the shining light of the tournament and is the only side that has not conceded a goal yet. Southgate revealed that they are willing to go the distance and beyond extra time if necessary.