Euro 2020: Gareth Southgate wants England to seize chance to create ‘iconic’ Wembley moment

The win over Germany marked a big moment for the Three Lions on the international stage, but a semi-final victory on home soil would live long in the memory of fans

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Tuesday 06 July 2021 22:30
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Euro 2020: Daily briefing

Gareth Southgate is considering bringing in Bukayo Saka for Jadon Sancho against Denmark, in what is likely to be the only change from Saturday's Euro 2020 quarter-final win over Ukraine. England are expected to go with a back four again, a move that usually signals a greater intent to attack, as the manager also said it's time to create new moments of history for the new Wembley.

"The history of the stadium relies on those iconic moments," Southgate said. "There’s the World Cup final, big boxing events, but there have been perhaps less of those headline events at the new Wembley. Whereas this tournament of course is now one of those moments.

"We've had the chance to have some very high-profile games already and achieve some big moments. There's some sort of pictures on the wall as you drive into the dressing rooms of iconic England moments but some of them aren't even from finals competitions. [David] Beckham’s free-kick against Greece is there and that was a qualifier so I think our players have got over the last two tournaments they've been able to create some really special memories, for especially youngsters. Bless them, they think it's like this all the time with England! They’ve not had to live through what we've all lived through.

“I've not heard the new Wembley have an atmosphere like it did for the Germany game, the Croatia Nations League game was a very good one in terms of the atmosphere Germany was another level and I'm sure tomorrow is going to be very special."

Southgate, meanwhile, played down the advantage England have had in getting to play five games so far - including the semi - at Wembley. While Denmark have had to travel to Baku, Southgate pointed to how they also benefited from home advantage in the groups, and that is the nature of a tournament.

"Well, I suppose, whoever hosts has an advantage, don't they, so effectively we've ended up being one of the hosts," Southgate argued.

"There have been a number of hosts in this tournament, and Italy, Denmark, Spain have all benefited from that as well. It should be an advantage. We often in our preparations were talking through as a group of staff talking about how it could be a hindrance, but quite often we came around to saying, hang on a second, this should be an advantage, we've got to make this an advantage for us, things like the travel.

“It has been different in that respect, but I'm not sure, as soon as the format of the tournament was created, everyone has kind of known that, it was going to be different, what we had to do was make sure we won our group so we had that extra game at Wembley that came available, so we've done the bits we've needed to, to give ourselves the best possible chance."

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