Southgate’s 2016 promise rings true after guiding England to Euro 2020 final

The promise that Gareth Southgate made on his appointment as England manager in 2016 is ringing true after the Three Lions reached the final of Euro 2020.

Southgate’s side are yet to be defeated at the tournament this summer, with a goalless draw against Scotland in the group stages the only match they have not won.

After qualifying as group winners following wins over Croatia and the Czech Republic, England were handed a tough draw against Germany in the last 16.

But Southgate’s decision to change formation paid off, with the Three Lions claiming a famous win thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.

Gareth Southgate has fulfilled the promise he made when he was appointed England manager

Ukraine were the next to be dispatched, with Kane grabbing two goals as Southgate’s side hammered their quarter-final opponents.

That win in Rome set up a semi-final clash with Denmark at Wembley last Wednesday, the first time England had reached a European Championship semi-final since Euro 96.

The current crop of English players went one step further than that famous squad, with England fighting back from going a goal down.

Bukayo Saka sent in a cross that was turned into his own net by Danish captain Simon Kjaer before Kane scored an extra-time winner.

That win sent the Three Lions into their first major final for 55 years and secured Southgate’s status as one of the country’s best managers since Sir Alf Ramsey held the role.

It is a remarkable turnaround for Southgate, who missed the crucial penalty which saw England dumped out of Euro 96 at the hands of Germany.

His appointment to the England job was met with scepticism by many when he was handed the role in 2016.

That came after Southgate had led England to four successive wins during his spell as interim manager after Sam Allardyce resigned after just one match in charge.

Who will win Euro 2020? Comment below.

At the time of his appointment, Southgate promised to deliver an England team that Three Lions fans could be “proud of”.

“I am extremely proud to be appointed England manager. However, I’m also conscious that getting the job is one thing – now I want to do the job successfully,” Southgate said.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the players over these past four games and I think there’s huge potential.

“I’m determined to give everything I have to give the country a team that they’re proud of and one that they’re going to enjoy watching play and develop. For me, the hard work starts now.”

Having led his team to the final of this summer’s tournament, it is a promise that has come true.

As well as making that promise, Southgate also stated that winning Euro 2020 was a “realistic aim” with the final being at Wembley.

“The semi-finals and final of 2020 are at Wembley. That’s clearly in the back of everybody’s mind,” he added at the time.

“Having played in the last European Championship here in 1996 and got so close as a player, I have a desire to address that record.

“That something that I think is a realistic aim for the team given the age and the way they’ll mature in the next few years in particular.”

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