Euro 2020 final: Danny Baker sparks backlash after branding Gareth Southgate ‘f***ing useless’ over England defeat

Southgate had guided England to their first major final since 1966

Fans left devastated as England lose Euro 2020 to Italy

Former BBC presenter Danny Baker has prompted an online backlash with a series of tweets criticising the England men’s football team manager, Gareth Southgate.

England suffered a defeat to Italy last night (11 July) in the final of Euro 2020. The score was 1-1 after extra time, with England losing 3-2 on penalties.

Baker, a well-known football fan, reacted to the loss on social media, saying that Southgate was “hardly the messiah”.

“Gareth Southgate getting the expected soft ride from all the pundits,” he wrote. “It’s the old boys club. F***ing disgraceful management from a winning position. We have been average for SO many games now. More than the few we won. Nobody mentions that though.”

“F***ing useless management by Gareth Southgate tonight,” he added, in one of many tweets on the subject. “That early goal seems to be a freak moment. We were not very good in most of this tournament. England were so weak an attacking threat. He decided that.

“‘Its down to me’ says useless Gareth Southgate. Jog on then mate would you?”

The tweets were met with criticism by many social media users, with some pointing to the squad’s youth – England were the youngest side in the tournament – and the fact that Southgate had led the team to England’s first final since 1966 as reasons why Baker’s words were unfair.

“He’s led us to our first final in 55 years, beaten on pens by a team unbeaten in 33. Jog on?? Thought you were better than that. Man’s been wonderful,” wrote one reply.

“This is awful,” wrote someone else. “I’ve always respected you. Delete this. He’s just delivered the best result at a Euros ever.”

“Pack it in Danny, it’s getting really old,” wrote another Twitter user. “Best England side for ages and for all tonight’s disappointment, hammering Southgate after all the good he’s done is beneath a man of your repute and stature. Seriously who would you rather have in charge at this point?”

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Baker has been at the centre of controversies caused by social media posts before. In 2019, the presenter was dismissed by the BBC following a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby which was interpreted by many as racist, though Baker denied racist intent.

In 1997, Baker was fired from BBC 5 Live after an on-air rant against a football referee which was alleged to have incited threatening behaviour towards the official.

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