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    Gary Neville reveals Harry Kane theory as England captain ‘has not looked right’ at Euro 2024

    GARY NEVILLE shared a theory on why Harry Kane endured a nightmare Euro 2024 final.The England skipper, 30, was hauled off 61 minutes into their defeat to Spain.Harry Kane scored three goals at Euro 2024 but looked short of fitnessCredit: GettyGary Neville shared some thoughts before kick-offCredit: AlamyGareth Southgate’s side were losing 1-0 when Kane was withdrawn but fought back via Cole Palmer soon later.Mikel Oyazarbal’s late strike settled things as England suffered another agonising near miss in a major tournament.Speaking before the game, Neville suggested Kane, who suffered a back injury towards the end of last season, was not fit.The BBC pundit said: “Why have we all of a sudden decided we have to tell Harry Kane how to play centre-forward? READ MORE ON EURO 2024″This tournament has been staggering to me, because he’s been dropping in for five or six years at Spurs doing exactly the same things that he’s been doing this tournament.”He doesn’t look right physically, that’s what I would say, but I think he knows how to play the game. He’s the very best striker we’ve ever had.”Colleague Roy Keane added: “I think when he’s been dropping deep, not in position sense, he has looked a little bit sluggish. “He just needs to be a bit sharper with his distribution. I think his positional sense [has been fine] it’s just his sharpness isn’t quite there.”Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSNeville continued: “I think in the next couple of weeks, or maybe even quicker that, it will emerge that he’s been patching himself up to get out there on the pitch. That’s ordinarily what happens.”He doesn’t look right and it’s something to do with his physicality, it’s nothing to do with his understanding of the game.”Gary Lineker destroys Gareth Southgate with brutal six-word comment after England’s Euro 2024 final defeatSpeaking after the game, Southgate admitted that Kane was struggling.He said: “Physically it’s been a tough period for him.“He came in short of games, and he’s not quite got up to the level that we’d have all hoped. “The games are hugely demanding and we felt Ollie’s freshness would allow us to press a bit better, which we needed to do, and would offer us a threat in behind.”Kane added: “Losing in a final is as tough as it gets. We did really well to get back into the game and get it back to 1-1, and then we couldn’t quite use that momentum to push on.“We couldn’t quite keep the ball and we got punished for it towards the end of the game, so it’s as painful as it could be in a football match.”England ratings: Palmer the super sub but captain Kane struggles yet again in Spain heartbreakCOLE PALMER came off the bench to be England’s star man – but his heroics were unable to stop heartbreak against Spain, writes Tom Barclay.Mikel Oyarzabal struck a late dagger through the hearts of the Three Lions to seal a 2-1 Spanish victory.And that ensured that 58 years of hurt will go on.Here’s how SunSport’s Tom Barclay rated each England player in the crushing defeat:Jordan Pickford: 8Carefully controlled a blast of a backpass from John Stones on his line in the first half. Could do little to stop Williams’ opener but made two terrific stops to deny Yamal, only for Oyarzabal to poke home at the death.Kyle Walker: 6Had his hands full with Williams but managed the Spanish livewire pretty well but could not get near his powerful opener. John Stones: 8A colossus again as he played every single minute of this Euros, despite lack of Manchester City game-time. Superb block on early Williams shot, was often in the right place at the right time and at one point dribbled all the way up the pitch.Marc Guehi: 6Solid alongside Stones and overall it has been a brilliant first tournament for the Crystal Palace star. But Oyarzabal nicked in front of him for the winner.Bukayo Saka: 7Most consistent attacker for England across the tournament and had a good battle with pantomime villain Marc Cucurella here. It was his cross that Bellingham laid off for Palmer to work his magic.Declan Rice: 7Went past his boss Gareth Southgate’s cap haul by winning his 58th here and he is still only 25. Was in the thick of it in the midfield battle throughout. Kobbie Mainoo: 5Just 19 and starting a major final for England in the middle of midfield. Fewer bursts forward though than in recent games as his side struggled for possession and was subbed for Palmer as Southgate searched for a leveller. Luke Shaw: 7Looked so sharp for a player making his first start since Luton away on February 10, winning his battle against Lamine Yamal in the first half. But Yamal got the better of him after the break to tee up Williams’ opener.Phil Foden: 6Out of possession it was his job to man-mark Manchester City colleague Rodri, until the Spanish maestro went off injured at half-time. Had a half-chance just before the break but could not beat Unai Simon.Jude Bellingham: 7Shunted wide left when England did not have the ball – which was a lot of the time. Riskily flew into a few tackles, but it was his clever lay-off that teed up Palmer.Harry Kane: 4His lack of involvement was summed up by England fans calling for Ollie Watkins in the 57th minute. They got their wish on the hour.SUBS: Ollie Watkins: 6Semi-final hero was introduced far earlier here to get some legs in behind, though he did not have too much impact this time.Cole Palmer: 9What an impact after emerging with just twenty minutes to go. Yet another of Southgate’s subs paid off handsomely as Palmer curled a peach of an equaliser with 17 minutes remaining, sending most of the Olympiastadion potty.Ivan Toney: 6Thrown on right at the end but could not make an impact.Gareth Southgate: 7The game was a chess match for the first half and Southgate was never going to go early with his bold moves.His subs were excellent to be fair, with Palmer brilliantly getting his team back into it.Critics will say England did not play attacking enough but Spain are one hell of a side – and Southgate’s men pushed them all the way. More

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    Gary Lineker destroys Gareth Southgate with brutal seven-word comment after England’s Euro 2024 final defeat

    ENGLAND legends criticised Gareth Southgate for his “conservative” approach – as Gary Lineker took the most brutal swipe after the Three Lions once again fell short in a final.Mikel Oyarzabal’s late strike saw Spain crowned champions of Europe and extended England’s painful wait for a major trophy.Gareth Southgate has taken England to two finalsCredit: GettyGary Lineker watched England lose to SpainCredit: AlamyThe Three Lions have now failed to land a trophy since 1966 despite reaching two finals in three of their past three tournaments.Former England defender Rio Ferdinand blasted: “We said after the group stages, if you’re going to play the conservative side of things with the amount of talent we have in this squad, you have to win.“Otherwise it will come down to it being absolutely dissected and looked at as being a negative approach.“That falls on the manager’s toes. He sets this team out in a particular way to play.READ MORE ENGLAND NEWS“That’s his style of football and you have to win playing like that because these players are too good.“They play too well for their clubs to come here and look a shadow of themselves. We were a team when the game was in the balance — but we were held back on a leash and that’s the disappointing thing with the quality of players we have in this squad.“The top teams get control and are aggressive from minute one and take games off opponents.“Every fan watching would have thought, ‘Why have we waited to go a goal down to let the shackles off and start going at them?’.Most read in Euro 2024BEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERS“It wasn’t until Ollie Watkins came on and he started hurrying them.“We have waited so long, why should we wait for so long to be on the front foot when we’ve got quality players all over the park.”Fans spot what England stars did immediately after receiving runners up medals following Euro 2024 finalAlan Shearer was another ex-England ace to question the tactics of  Southgate and reckons the Berlin final will be his last game as manager.He said: “He will know that they haven’t performed. They didn’t have enough energy or quality on the ball.“We would have loved to have seen him play more front-foot football.“They have had another taste of it but you have to get over the line.“First is first and the rest are nowhere, I’m afraid.“I suspect it will be Southgate’s last game. From where he took over and where they are now.Maybe Kane really is cursed as trophy drought goes on… he may never get a better chance with EnglandIT now seems as though he really is cursed. Along with the rest of us, writes Charlie Wyett.Tragically, unbelievably, Harry Kane’s agonising search for a trophy still continues and you know have to wonder whether he will ever actually manage it.Certainly for England, in any case.Kane has now suffered defeat in three major club finals and two finals of the European Championships.Last night, the Three Lions captain was so ineffective that he was replaced by Ollie Watkins just after the hour.Like much of this tournament, he really struggled to make the impact when England needed him, not that he had much service.He had one shot in the first half and that was Rodri, who subsequently injured himself and went off at the break.When Cole Palmer struck that brilliant equaliser, Kane was off on his feet from the bench, only for the national team to get another kick in the bo**ocks at the end.Kane was substituted in both the games against Switzerland and Holland which England went on to win but on this occasion, he could only witness a gut-wrenching twist just when it looked as though Gareth Southgate’s team had dug their way out of trouble.The Bayern Munich striker suffered the World Cup 2018 semi-final loss against Croatia, endured heartbreak against Italy in the Euro2020 final and then missed from the spot in the World Cup 2022 quarter-final against France.He really thought that this was his time, even though England did not play well in Germany.Kane will know that he will have more opportunities with England. But not many more.The World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico seems a long way away and it will surely be under a new manager. Will England be better than they are now? Probably not.And we are all left to wonder how much better England would have been with a fit and firing Kane at his very best.Read the full verdict on the curse of Harry Kane…Or check out all of Charlie Wyett’s Euro 2024 stories…“There will be great disappointment at home. Yes, we could have played more attacking football but they have got to the final.“But when you are here, you have got to get over the line.“The reality is he got us to a final three years ago and got us to a final here and hasn’t won.READ MORE SUN STORIES“That will hurt him and maybe he will think it’s time for someone else.”Former Three Lions striker, and BBC frontman, Lineker took the most cutting swipe, adding: “It is a victory for attacking football.”England ratings: Palmer the super sub but captain Kane struggles yet again in Spain heartbreakCOLE PALMER came off the bench to be England’s star man – but his heroics were unable to stop heartbreak against Spain, writes Tom Barclay.Mikel Oyarzabal struck a late dagger through the hearts of the Three Lions to seal a 2-1 Spanish victory.And that ensured that 58 years of hurt will go on.Here’s how SunSport’s Tom Barclay rated each England player in the crushing defeat:Jordan Pickford: 8Carefully controlled a blast of a backpass from John Stones on his line in the first half. Could do little to stop Williams’ opener but made two terrific stops to deny Yamal, only for Oyarzabal to poke home at the death.Kyle Walker: 6Had his hands full with Williams but managed the Spanish livewire pretty well but could not get near his powerful opener. John Stones: 8A colossus again as he played every single minute of this Euros, despite lack of Manchester City game-time. Superb block on early Williams shot, was often in the right place at the right time and at one point dribbled all the way up the pitch.Marc Guehi: 6Solid alongside Stones and overall it has been a brilliant first tournament for the Crystal Palace star. But Oyarzabal nicked in front of him for the winner.Bukayo Saka: 7Most consistent attacker for England across the tournament and had a good battle with pantomime villain Marc Cucurella here. It was his cross that Bellingham laid off for Palmer to work his magic.Declan Rice: 7Went past his boss Gareth Southgate’s cap haul by winning his 58th here and he is still only 25. Was in the thick of it in the midfield battle throughout. Kobbie Mainoo: 5Just 19 and starting a major final for England in the middle of midfield. Fewer bursts forward though than in recent games as his side struggled for possession and was subbed for Palmer as Southgate searched for a leveller. Luke Shaw: 7Looked so sharp for a player making his first start since Luton away on February 10, winning his battle against Lamine Yamal in the first half. But Yamal got the better of him after the break to tee up Williams’ opener.Phil Foden: 6Out of possession it was his job to man-mark Manchester City colleague Rodri, until the Spanish maestro went off injured at half-time. Had a half-chance just before the break but could not beat Unai Simon.Jude Bellingham: 7Shunted wide left when England did not have the ball – which was a lot of the time. Riskily flew into a few tackles, but it was his clever lay-off that teed up Palmer.Harry Kane: 4His lack of involvement was summed up by England fans calling for Ollie Watkins in the 57th minute. They got their wish on the hour.SUBS: Ollie Watkins: 6Semi-final hero was introduced far earlier here to get some legs in behind, though he did not have too much impact this time.Cole Palmer: 9What an impact after emerging with just twenty minutes to go. Yet another of Southgate’s subs paid off handsomely as Palmer curled a peach of an equaliser with 17 minutes remaining, sending most of the Olympiastadion potty.Ivan Toney: 6Thrown on right at the end but could not make an impact.Gareth Southgate: 7The game was a chess match for the first half and Southgate was never going to go early with his bold moves.His subs were excellent to be fair, with Palmer brilliantly getting his team back into it.Critics will say England did not play attacking enough but Spain are one hell of a side – and Southgate’s men pushed them all the way. More

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    Jude Bellingham in classy gesture as star suffers Euro 2024 final heartbreak in England vs Spain clash

    JUDE BELLINGHAM produced a classy gesture despite suffering heartbreak in the Euro 2024 final.Bellingham played all 90 minutes as England lost 2-1 to Spain in Berlin on Sunday.Jude Bellingham showed his class by comforting Rodri when the Spain ace picked up an injuryCredit: GettyThe Man City star was forced off at half timeCredit: PABellingham himself was left shattered as England lost 2-1 in the Euro finalCredit: GettyThe midfielder will be hoping for better times with his countryCredit: AFPBellingham ended up kicking a water cooler after the final whistleThe Three Lions held firm in the first half as the two sides went into the break at 0-0.But Nico Williams stunned Gareth Southgate’s men with a strike moments into the second 45.Cole Palmer then equalised for England with a stunning hit 15 minutes from time.Yet Spain still found a way through as Mikel Oyarzabal netted a winner with just a few minutes left on the clock.READ MORE IN FOOTBALLThe timely goal destroyed England’s morale.And Spain cruised through the final moments before celebrating a famous victory.There are now question marks over Southgate’s future after losing another crunch game.While doubts could surround Harry Kane, with the captain barely making an impact.Most read in Euro 2024BEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSHowever, Bellingham showed his classy nature earlier in the match after seeing an opponent break down in tears.Spain star Rodri appeared to pick up an injury just before the break.Gary Lineker destroys Gareth Southgate with brutal six-word comment after England’s Euro 2024 final defeatAnd he started crying at the half-time whistle as he limped off the field in agony.Despite being on the other team, Bellingham went over to Rodri before consoling him.The amazing gesture showcased the midfielder’s compassionate style of play.And Rodri was nowhere to be seen in the second half as he was subbed off entirely.England fans may have been forgiven for thinking the Man City star’s absence had handed their side the advantage.But Spain scored just moments into the second half before Oyarzabal’s late impact ended things once and for all.READ MORE SUN STORIESBellingham was left with his head in his hands at the final whistle.And he then kicked a water cooler before collecting his silver medal.England ratings: Palmer the super sub but captain Kane struggles yet again in Spain heartbreakCOLE PALMER came off the bench to be England’s star man – but his heroics were unable to stop heartbreak against Spain, writes Tom Barclay.Mikel Oyarzabal struck a late dagger through the hearts of the Three Lions to seal a 2-1 Spanish victory.And that ensured that 58 years of hurt will go on.Here’s how SunSport’s Tom Barclay rated each England player in the crushing defeat:Jordan Pickford: 8Carefully controlled a blast of a backpass from John Stones on his line in the first half. Could do little to stop Williams’ opener but made two terrific stops to deny Yamal, only for Oyarzabal to poke home at the death.Kyle Walker: 6Had his hands full with Williams but managed the Spanish livewire pretty well but could not get near his powerful opener. John Stones: 8A colossus again as he played every single minute of this Euros, despite lack of Manchester City game-time. Superb block on early Williams shot, was often in the right place at the right time and at one point dribbled all the way up the pitch.Marc Guehi: 6Solid alongside Stones and overall it has been a brilliant first tournament for the Crystal Palace star. But Oyarzabal nicked in front of him for the winner.Bukayo Saka: 7Most consistent attacker for England across the tournament and had a good battle with pantomime villain Marc Cucurella here. It was his cross that Bellingham laid off for Palmer to work his magic.Declan Rice: 7Went past his boss Gareth Southgate’s cap haul by winning his 58th here and he is still only 25. Was in the thick of it in the midfield battle throughout. Kobbie Mainoo: 5Just 19 and starting a major final for England in the middle of midfield. Fewer bursts forward though than in recent games as his side struggled for possession and was subbed for Palmer as Southgate searched for a leveller. Luke Shaw: 7Looked so sharp for a player making his first start since Luton away on February 10, winning his battle against Lamine Yamal in the first half. But Yamal got the better of him after the break to tee up Williams’ opener.Phil Foden: 6Out of possession it was his job to man-mark Manchester City colleague Rodri, until the Spanish maestro went off injured at half-time. Had a half-chance just before the break but could not beat Unai Simon.Jude Bellingham: 7Shunted wide left when England did not have the ball – which was a lot of the time. Riskily flew into a few tackles, but it was his clever lay-off that teed up Palmer.Harry Kane: 4His lack of involvement was summed up by England fans calling for Ollie Watkins in the 57th minute. They got their wish on the hour.SUBS: Ollie Watkins: 6Semi-final hero was introduced far earlier here to get some legs in behind, though he did not have too much impact this time.Cole Palmer: 9What an impact after emerging with just twenty minutes to go. Yet another of Southgate’s subs paid off handsomely as Palmer curled a peach of an equaliser with 17 minutes remaining, sending most of the Olympiastadion potty.Ivan Toney: 6Thrown on right at the end but could not make an impact.Gareth Southgate: 7The game was a chess match for the first half and Southgate was never going to go early with his bold moves.His subs were excellent to be fair, with Palmer brilliantly getting his team back into it.Critics will say England did not play attacking enough but Spain are one hell of a side – and Southgate’s men pushed them all the way. More

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    Graham Potter is firm favourite for England manager job as three-horse race emerges to succeed Gareth Southgate

    GRAHAM POTTER is the firm favourite with the bookies to succeed Gareth Southgate as England manager.The Three Lions boss hinted his time as boss might be over after Sunday’s heartbreaking loss to Spain in the Euro 2024 final.Gareth Southgate and England suffered heartbreak against SpainCredit: AlamyGraham Potter is the early favourite to replace him as Three Lions bossCredit: GettyIt was Mikel Oyarzabal who broke English hearts to secure 2-1 victory in Berlin – ensuring that 58 years of hurt will go on, until 2026 at least.The final whistle sparked wild Spanish celebrations as Southgate and his dejected squad wasted little time in taking off their runners-up medals.They were largely outplayed in the final – having largely failed to impressed as the edged their way through the tournament.Questions have continued to be asked about Southgate’s future for the duration, with Gary Lineker even tipping Frank Lampard to take over.READ MORE ON EURO 2024And speculation over his future will now intensify with his contract with the FA up in December.With the bookies, it appears to be a three-horse race to replace the 53-year-old as England manager, according to the latest odds from Ladbrokes.They make former Chelsea flop Potter the 11/10 favourite to take over.While Newcastle United’s Eddie Howe is just behind in the betting at 2/1.Most read in Euro 2024CASINO SPECIAL – BEST CASINO WELCOME OFFERSElsewhere, Mauricio Pochettino makes up the podium spots at 4/1 – the only other name currently priced shorter than 10/1 to get the gig.Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “All eyes will now be on Southgate’s next move, but the race to replace him is already down to just three candidates, if the latest odds are anything to go by.”BBC in major broadcast blunder in middle of Southgate’s live TV interview after England’s Euro 2024 defeat to SpainThis felt like our time… but keep Gareth’s culture and we can win it in 2026 instead, writes Jack WilshereIT will take a while for me and every England fan to get over this, writes Jack Wilshere.To come so close to winning that trophy, only to be beaten in a second Euros final in a row, is a huge disappointment.Especially when it really felt like this was our time.It seemed that everything was coming together for us to end the long wait for a major title.But Spain deserved it. They were the better team in the final and the best team of the tournament.We will all — supporters, players, coaches, the FA — have to move on and go again.Because English football is still in a good position.Gareth Southgate has taken us to two finals, a semi-final and a quarter-final in four tournaments. We have never produced a run like that before.The challenge now is to maintain this level of competitiveness and make England even better.Southgate and his staff have done a fantastic job in changing the whole environment and narrative around the national team.Whether Gareth carries on or not, the wider culture he has put in place must be preserved.This tournament was the biggest test of that culture the team had to go through.They overcame the problems and went all the way, only to fall at the final hurdle.But there is every reason to believe we can challenge at the World Cup in 2026 and beyond.We’ve got a really good group of players, many of them young, who can go on playing and performing for England for years.Jude Bellingham, Kobbie Mainoo, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Cole Palmer — to name just five — have plenty more tournaments in them.This tournament will also be an inspiration for the next generations of players. Unfortunately there isn’t the trophy lift to take that to a completely different level.But England have delivered moments in Germany that will be replayed forever.The Bellingham overhead kick and Ollie Watkins’ semi-final winner will be recreated in playgrounds and cages up and down the country.What I would like to see now is England continuing to develop, to become a team that can consistently dominate opponents and can give a real identity to English football.We now have players who are comfortable on the ball and technically very good.The biggest disappointment of the tournament was that we didn’t see that as often as we would have liked. That leaves us with a ‘what if?’ feeling.England must not lose that old-school mentality of finding a way to win even when you’re not playing well — that never-say-die spirit which got us through this Euros more than once.But the next step is to allow other qualities to shine through, to give the players that our system is creating the platform to show  everything they can do.The job for me and for other coaches is to keep producing players that are comfortable on the ball and understand how to perform under pressure at a high level.English football is in a good place but we need to keep going. Then we will finally get over the line.Real all of SunSport columnist Jack Wilshere’s Euro 2024 columns…Southgate was asked about his future after the final whistle in Berlin.He said: “I don’t think now is a good time to make a decision like that.“I’m going to talk to the right people and, yeah, it’s just not for now.“I think England are in a really good position in terms of the experiences they’ve got now, the age of the squad.“Most of this squad are going to be around not just for the World Cup but the next Euros as well.“There’s a lot to look forward to but at this moment that’s not any consolation.”NEXT ENGLAND MANAGERHere are the latest odds from Ladbrokes:Graham Potter – 11/10Eddie Howe – 2/1Mauricio Pochettino – 4/1Jurgen Klopp – 10/1Lee Carsley – 10/1Pep Guardiola – 14/1Ange Postecoglou – 16/1Michael Carrick – 20/1Steven Gerrard – 20/1Thomas Tuchel – 20/1Southgate, who guided England to the 2018 World Cup semi-final, has now lost two successive European Championship finals.And later on in his post-match press conference he stated he will hold talks with the FA in private before making an announcement on whether he will stay.Southgate said: “It’s hard to reflect so soon after a defeat like this.“To take England to two finals has never been done [in the men’s game].Gareth Southgate could walk away after suffering a second-straight Euros disappointmentCredit: Rex“But we came here to win, and we haven’t been able to do that.”Southgate added: “The team have done the country proud.READ MORE SUN STORIES“To reach the first final away from England and the second final in two tournaments is incredible really.“But at the moment – in my head – none of that matters because we had an opportunity to win and we didn’t take it.”England ratings: Palmer the super sub but captain Kane struggles yet again in Spain heartbreakCOLE PALMER came off the bench to be England’s star man – but his heroics were unable to stop heartbreak against Spain, writes Tom Barclay.Mikel Oyarzabal struck a late dagger through the hearts of the Three Lions to seal a 2-1 Spanish victory.And that ensured that 58 years of hurt will go on.Here’s how SunSport’s Tom Barclay rated each England player in the crushing defeat:Jordan Pickford: 8Carefully controlled a blast of a backpass from John Stones on his line in the first half. Could do little to stop Williams’ opener but made two terrific stops to deny Yamal, only for Oyarzabal to poke home at the death.Kyle Walker: 6Had his hands full with Williams but managed the Spanish livewire pretty well but could not get near his powerful opener. John Stones: 8A colossus again as he played every single minute of this Euros, despite lack of Manchester City game-time. Superb block on early Williams shot, was often in the right place at the right time and at one point dribbled all the way up the pitch.Marc Guehi: 6Solid alongside Stones and overall it has been a brilliant first tournament for the Crystal Palace star. But Oyarzabal nicked in front of him for the winner.Bukayo Saka: 7Most consistent attacker for England across the tournament and had a good battle with pantomime villain Marc Cucurella here. It was his cross that Bellingham laid off for Palmer to work his magic.Declan Rice: 7Went past his boss Gareth Southgate’s cap haul by winning his 58th here and he is still only 25. Was in the thick of it in the midfield battle throughout. Kobbie Mainoo: 5Just 19 and starting a major final for England in the middle of midfield. Fewer bursts forward though than in recent games as his side struggled for possession and was subbed for Palmer as Southgate searched for a leveller. Luke Shaw: 7Looked so sharp for a player making his first start since Luton away on February 10, winning his battle against Lamine Yamal in the first half. But Yamal got the better of him after the break to tee up Williams’ opener.Phil Foden: 6Out of possession it was his job to man-mark Manchester City colleague Rodri, until the Spanish maestro went off injured at half-time. Had a half-chance just before the break but could not beat Unai Simon.Jude Bellingham: 7Shunted wide left when England did not have the ball – which was a lot of the time. Riskily flew into a few tackles, but it was his clever lay-off that teed up Palmer.Harry Kane: 4His lack of involvement was summed up by England fans calling for Ollie Watkins in the 57th minute. They got their wish on the hour.SUBS: Ollie Watkins: 6Semi-final hero was introduced far earlier here to get some legs in behind, though he did not have too much impact this time.Cole Palmer: 9What an impact after emerging with just twenty minutes to go. Yet another of Southgate’s subs paid off handsomely as Palmer curled a peach of an equaliser with 17 minutes remaining, sending most of the Olympiastadion potty.Ivan Toney: 6Thrown on right at the end but could not make an impact.Gareth Southgate: 7The game was a chess match for the first half and Southgate was never going to go early with his bold moves.His subs were excellent to be fair, with Palmer brilliantly getting his team back into it.Critics will say England did not play attacking enough but Spain are one hell of a side – and Southgate’s men pushed them all the way. More

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    Gareth Southgate on course to be knighted despite England’s heartbreaking Euro 2024 defeat

    GARETH Southgate still looked a certainty to be knighted — despite last night’s defeat.The manager, 53, took over a demoralised team who lost to Iceland in Euro 2016 — and led the Three Lions to two Euros finals and a World Cup semi.Gareth Southgate is odds-on to be knighted after getting England to the Euro 2024 finalCredit: GettyYesterday, England fan Paul Murray, 48, from Surrey, said: “Arise Sir Gareth. There’s no question he deserves it after turning English football around.” Bookie Betfair said Southgate was a 2/1 bet to be knighted.But the England boss was, inevitably subdued last night. He said: “We competed until the very end of the final, but didn’t keep possession well enough. But they were the best team and deserved to win.”READ MORE ON GARETH SOUTHGATESouthgate inherited a grim legacy of flops and penalties pain which have come to define England as football’s eternal nearly men.Long-suffering fans have endured agonising near misses, bad luck and catastrophic cock-ups ever since 1966 as the Three Lions became the eternal nearly men of world football.Southgate took England’s reins on September 27, 2016 and within two years had built a confident, young team which got to within 22 minutes of a World Cup final in Moscow.His battling lions faltered against Croatia and lost 2-1 but went on to beat the Germans on the way to the Euro 2020 final against Italy – where the penalties hoodoo struck again.Most read in Euro 2024But the consistency and ability to “win ugly” has been the hallmark of this summer’s brilliant cup run – all the way to last night’s first ever foreign tournament final in Berlin.BBC in major broadcast blunder in middle of Southgate’s live TV interview after England’s Euro 2024 defeat to Spain More

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    Ian Wright convinced Spain star Dani Olmo is ‘taking the micky out of us’ with pre-Euro 2024 final gesture

    IAN WRIGHT was left convinced that Dani Olmo was “taking the micky out of us” with a bizarre pre-match gesture.The Spain star lined up for his nation in Sunday’s Euro 2024 2-1 final win against England.Dani Olmo appeared to play mind games before Spain’s Euros win over EnglandCredit: GettyThe ace had a cup of tea before kick-off… even though the cup appeared to be emptyCredit: GettyOlmo had scored three goals prior to facing the Three Lions.And after replacing the injured Pedri in Spain’s starting XI, he quickly became one of the tournament’s top stars.However, Olmo appeared to infuriate Wright before kick-off on Sunday.That’s because he had a cup of tea as Spain prepared for the battle.READ MORE IN FOOTBALLAs team-mates explored the pitch in Berlin, Olmo could be seen clutching a tea cup in his hand.The RB Leipzig star then appeared to drink from it, although the cup was seemingly completely empty.And Wright took it to mean that Olmo was trolling England with some tactical mind games.ITV presenter Mark Pougatch first said: “Not entirely sure what he’s doing there.”Most read in Euro 2024BEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSMaybe Kane really is cursed as trophy drought goes on… he may never get a better chance with EnglandIT now seems as though he really is cursed. Along with the rest of us, writes Charlie Wyett.Tragically, unbelievably, Harry Kane’s agonising search for a trophy still continues and you know have to wonder whether he will ever actually manage it.Certainly for England, in any case.Kane has now suffered defeat in three major club finals and two finals of the European Championships.Last night, the Three Lions captain was so ineffective that he was replaced by Ollie Watkins just after the hour.Like much of this tournament, he really struggled to make the impact when England needed him, not that he had much service.He had one shot in the first half and that was Rodri, who subsequently injured himself and went off at the break.When Cole Palmer struck that brilliant equaliser, Kane was off on his feet from the bench, only for the national team to get another kick in the bo**ocks at the end.Kane was substituted in both the games against Switzerland and Holland which England went on to win but on this occasion, he could only witness a gut-wrenching twist just when it looked as though Gareth Southgate’s team had dug their way out of trouble.The Bayern Munich striker suffered the World Cup 2018 semi-final loss against Croatia, endured heartbreak against Italy in the Euro2020 final and then missed from the spot in the World Cup 2022 quarter-final against France.He really thought that this was his time, even though England did not play well in Germany.Kane will know that he will have more opportunities with England. But not many more.The World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico seems a long way away and it will surely be under a new manager. Will England be better than they are now? Probably not.And we are all left to wonder how much better England would have been with a fit and firing Kane at his very best.Read the full verdict on the curse of Harry Kane…Or check out all of Charlie Wyett’s Euro 2024 stories…Wright chimed in: “I think he’s taking the micky out of us!”However, Olmo’s apparent trick did not appear to faze Jordan Pickford.Trophyless Harry Kane really IS starting to look cursed as England captain’s horror Euro 2024 final stats revealedIan Wright felt Olmo was trolling England before kick-offCredit: GettyThe England goalie was as cold as ice in the tunnel before the match.And as the camera panned over players looking stern, Pickford opted for a different attitude.He cheekily looked down the lends of the camera before pulling a hilarious face, leaving fans delighted.But it was Spain who were celebrating at the final whistle as they bagged an 86th minute winner, with England’s long wait for a trophy continuing.England ratings: Palmer the super sub but captain Kane struggles yet again in Spain heartbreakCOLE PALMER came off the bench to be England’s star man – but his heroics were unable to stop heartbreak against Spain, writes Tom Barclay.Mikel Oyarzabal struck a late dagger through the hearts of the Three Lions to seal a 2-1 Spanish victory.And that ensured that 58 years of hurt will go on.Here’s how SunSport’s Tom Barclay rated each England player in the crushing defeat:Jordan Pickford: 8Carefully controlled a blast of a backpass from John Stones on his line in the first half. Could do little to stop Williams’ opener but made two terrific stops to deny Yamal, only for Oyarzabal to poke home at the death.Kyle Walker: 6Had his hands full with Williams but managed the Spanish livewire pretty well but could not get near his powerful opener. John Stones: 8A colossus again as he played every single minute of this Euros, despite lack of Manchester City game-time. Superb block on early Williams shot, was often in the right place at the right time and at one point dribbled all the way up the pitch.Marc Guehi: 6Solid alongside Stones and overall it has been a brilliant first tournament for the Crystal Palace star. But Oyarzabal nicked in front of him for the winner.Bukayo Saka: 7Most consistent attacker for England across the tournament and had a good battle with pantomime villain Marc Cucurella here. It was his cross that Bellingham laid off for Palmer to work his magic.Declan Rice: 7Went past his boss Gareth Southgate’s cap haul by winning his 58th here and he is still only 25. Was in the thick of it in the midfield battle throughout. Kobbie Mainoo: 5Just 19 and starting a major final for England in the middle of midfield. Fewer bursts forward though than in recent games as his side struggled for possession and was subbed for Palmer as Southgate searched for a leveller. Luke Shaw: 7Looked so sharp for a player making his first start since Luton away on February 10, winning his battle against Lamine Yamal in the first half. But Yamal got the better of him after the break to tee up Williams’ opener.Phil Foden: 6Out of possession it was his job to man-mark Manchester City colleague Rodri, until the Spanish maestro went off injured at half-time. Had a half-chance just before the break but could not beat Unai Simon.Jude Bellingham: 7Shunted wide left when England did not have the ball – which was a lot of the time. Riskily flew into a few tackles, but it was his clever lay-off that teed up Palmer.Harry Kane: 4His lack of involvement was summed up by England fans calling for Ollie Watkins in the 57th minute. They got their wish on the hour.SUBS: Ollie Watkins: 6Semi-final hero was introduced far earlier here to get some legs in behind, though he did not have too much impact this time.Cole Palmer: 9What an impact after emerging with just twenty minutes to go. Yet another of Southgate’s subs paid off handsomely as Palmer curled a peach of an equaliser with 17 minutes remaining, sending most of the Olympiastadion potty.Ivan Toney: 6Thrown on right at the end but could not make an impact.Gareth Southgate: 7The game was a chess match for the first half and Southgate was never going to go early with his bold moves.His subs were excellent to be fair, with Palmer brilliantly getting his team back into it.Critics will say England did not play attacking enough but Spain are one hell of a side – and Southgate’s men pushed them all the way. More

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    Fuming fans claim ‘football is corrupt to the core’ after ‘disgraceful’ decision in England’s Euro 2024 final loss

    FANS fumed at the “disgraceful” decision in England’s Euro 2024 final loss to Spain.Nico Williams opened the scoring just after the break before substitute Cole Palmer excellently curled home a leveller. England captain Harry Kane speaks to ref Francois LetexierCredit: RexBut it was familiar heartache as Mikel Oyarzabal came off the bench to put Spain ahead with five minutes to go.Four minutes were added on by official Francois Letexier at the end of regulation time, and Spain did their best to run down the clock.A string of subs, set-pieces and fouls looked sure to add an extra few valuable seconds or minutes onto the end of added time as England desperately bid for a dramatic leveller.But the very second the clock struck 94, Letexier put the whistle to his mouth and blew up, handing Spain the trophy.READ MORE ENGLAND NEWSAnd that left England supporters in disbelief, adamant they had been short-changed.One fan wrote: “Spain wasted a good minute or two or added time and blows of 4 min and could’t wait to do so.”Football is corrupt to the core.”Another fumed: “At least 3 of those 4 mins were wasted by Spain and the ref blew bang on 4 mins.”Most read in Euro 2024CASINO SPECIAL – BEST CASINO WELCOME OFFERSEngland ratings: Palmer the super sub but captain Kane struggles yet again in Spain heartbreakCOLE PALMER came off the bench to be England’s star man – but his heroics were unable to stop heartbreak against Spain, writes Tom Barclay.Mikel Oyarzabal struck a late dagger through the hearts of the Three Lions to seal a 2-1 Spanish victory.And that ensured that 58 years of hurt will go on.Here’s how SunSport’s Tom Barclay rated each England player in the crushing defeat:Jordan Pickford: 8Carefully controlled a blast of a backpass from John Stones on his line in the first half. Could do little to stop Williams’ opener but made two terrific stops to deny Yamal, only for Oyarzabal to poke home at the death.Kyle Walker: 6Had his hands full with Williams but managed the Spanish livewire pretty well but could not get near his powerful opener. John Stones: 8A colossus again as he played every single minute of this Euros, despite lack of Manchester City game-time. Superb block on early Williams shot, was often in the right place at the right time and at one point dribbled all the way up the pitch.Marc Guehi: 6Solid alongside Stones and overall it has been a brilliant first tournament for the Crystal Palace star. But Oyarzabal nicked in front of him for the winner.Bukayo Saka: 7Most consistent attacker for England across the tournament and had a good battle with pantomime villain Marc Cucurella here. It was his cross that Bellingham laid off for Palmer to work his magic.Declan Rice: 7Went past his boss Gareth Southgate’s cap haul by winning his 58th here and he is still only 25. Was in the thick of it in the midfield battle throughout. Kobbie Mainoo: 5Just 19 and starting a major final for England in the middle of midfield. Fewer bursts forward though than in recent games as his side struggled for possession and was subbed for Palmer as Southgate searched for a leveller. Luke Shaw: 7Looked so sharp for a player making his first start since Luton away on February 10, winning his battle against Lamine Yamal in the first half. But Yamal got the better of him after the break to tee up Williams’ opener.Phil Foden: 6Out of possession it was his job to man-mark Manchester City colleague Rodri, until the Spanish maestro went off injured at half-time. Had a half-chance just before the break but could not beat Unai Simon.Jude Bellingham: 7Shunted wide left when England did not have the ball – which was a lot of the time. Riskily flew into a few tackles, but it was his clever lay-off that teed up Palmer.Harry Kane: 4His lack of involvement was summed up by England fans calling for Ollie Watkins in the 57th minute. They got their wish on the hour.SUBS: Ollie Watkins: 6Semi-final hero was introduced far earlier here to get some legs in behind, though he did not have too much impact this time.Cole Palmer: 9What an impact after emerging with just twenty minutes to go. Yet another of Southgate’s subs paid off handsomely as Palmer curled a peach of an equaliser with 17 minutes remaining, sending most of the Olympiastadion potty.Ivan Toney: 6Thrown on right at the end but could not make an impact.Gareth Southgate: 7The game was a chess match for the first half and Southgate was never going to go early with his bold moves.His subs were excellent to be fair, with Palmer brilliantly getting his team back into it.Critics will say England did not play attacking enough but Spain are one hell of a side – and Southgate’s men pushed them all the way.One raged: “Disgraceful that the ref called full time at 94’ sharp.”Another slammed: “Disgraceful to waste time like that for Spain and the ref not accounting for it.”Gareth Southgate drops quit hint on live TV minutes after England’s heartbreaking Euro 2024 final lossThere is obviously no evidence of any corruption and Spain had, admittedly, been much the better team.England made the unwanted record of becoming the first side to lose consecutive Euros finals – three years on from penalty heartache to Italy.Manager Gareth Southgate refused to commit his future to England in the aftermath of the loss. But he also said: “I think Spain were the best team in the tournament. We didn’t keep the ball well enough.”We were in it until the last ten minutes. I’m devastated for everyone. We have just fallen a little short.This felt like our time… but keep Gareth’s culture and we can win it in 2026 instead, writes Jack WilshereIT will take a while for me and every England fan to get over this, writes Jack Wilshere.To come so close to winning that trophy, only to be beaten in a second Euros final in a row, is a huge disappointment.Especially when it really felt like this was our time.It seemed that everything was coming together for us to end the long wait for a major title.But Spain deserved it. They were the better team in the final and the best team of the tournament.We will all — supporters, players, coaches, the FA — have to move on and go again.Because English football is still in a good position.Gareth Southgate has taken us to two finals, a semi-final and a quarter-final in four tournaments. We have never produced a run like that before.The challenge now is to maintain this level of competitiveness and make England even better.Southgate and his staff have done a fantastic job in changing the whole environment and narrative around the national team.Whether Gareth carries on or not, the wider culture he has put in place must be preserved.This tournament was the biggest test of that culture the team had to go through.They overcame the problems and went all the way, only to fall at the final hurdle.But there is every reason to believe we can challenge at the World Cup in 2026 and beyond.We’ve got a really good group of players, many of them young, who can go on playing and performing for England for years.Jude Bellingham, Kobbie Mainoo, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Cole Palmer — to name just five — have plenty more tournaments in them.This tournament will also be an inspiration for the next generations of players. Unfortunately there isn’t the trophy lift to take that to a completely different level.But England have delivered moments in Germany that will be replayed forever.The Bellingham overhead kick and Ollie Watkins’ semi-final winner will be recreated in playgrounds and cages up and down the country.What I would like to see now is England continuing to develop, to become a team that can consistently dominate opponents and can give a real identity to English football.We now have players who are comfortable on the ball and technically very good.The biggest disappointment of the tournament was that we didn’t see that as often as we would have liked. That leaves us with a ‘what if?’ feeling.England must not lose that old-school mentality of finding a way to win even when you’re not playing well — that never-say-die spirit which got us through this Euros more than once.But the next step is to allow other qualities to shine through, to give the players that our system is creating the platform to show  everything they can do.The job for me and for other coaches is to keep producing players that are comfortable on the ball and understand how to perform under pressure at a high level.English football is in a good place but we need to keep going. Then we will finally get over the line.Real all of SunSport columnist Jack Wilshere’s Euro 2024 columns…”We had a little bit of momentum in the game at that point [when Cole Palmer equalised]. “There’s a big chance at the end to equalise too but across the 90 minutes, I’m not sure we did enough.”Spain press well and you have to keep the ball when you win it back. In the end, that’s the bit that takes more out of your legs.READ MORE SUN STORIES”I think the players will take enormous credit for getting us to where we did but when you’re as close as that, you have to take your chances. “They have represented the shirt with pride and haven’t been beaten until the very end. I just think tonight Spain had more control of the game.”Gareth Southgate refused to commit to his England futureCredit: AFP More

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    England stars consoled by Wags and family in stands after heartbreaking Euro 2024 final defeat to Spain

    ENGLAND’S Wags were out in force supporting the team tonight but it was not enough.The Three Lions were beaten 2-1 by Spain in the Euro 2024 final.John Stones is consoled by Olivia Naylor and their son after the defeatCredit: RexKyle Walker in the stands after a heartbreaking matchCredit: ReutersOllie Watkins looked guttedCredit: ReutersThe striker could not perform more heroics off the bench and was comforted by partner Ellie AldersonCredit: ReutersDani Dyer was on hand to support Jarrod BowenCredit: RexLuke Shaw chatted to his familyCredit: ReutersIt was the second heartbreaking defeat at the final hurdle for Gareth Southgate’s men after they lost on penalties to Italy four years ago.Ollie Watkins came on for the last 30 minutes but could not repeat his semi-final heroics against the Netherlands.He was seen wiping tears from his eyes as partner Ellie Alderson consoled him.Luke Shaw wore a hoodie over his head as he hugged friends and family.READ MORE ON EURO 2024Speaking after the game, he told the BBC: “Absolutely devastated. Not much else I can say. We really believed we could do it but it wasn’t meant to be.”He [Gareth Southgate] is extremely proud of the team and what we have achieved as a group but of course, there isn’t much else he could say. Everyone is truly gutted.”I think we had massive belief but the fans deserved it. I just want to thank them for their support and can only apologise to them.”John Stones shared some moments with Olivia Naylor and their son.Most read in Euro 2024BEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSIris Law – daughter of Hollywood icon Jude – was spotted in a skintight top with a Three Lions logo on it before kick-off.Law, 23, and Alexander-Arnold were spotted on a date night in Monte Carlo, Monaco in May.From agony to ecstasy to agony for England fans as second Spain goal gives them late lead in Euro 2024The lovebirds met while filming for Guess Jeans – they are both ambassadors for the brand.A source told The Sun that the par is “excited to see where things go”.The insider said: “They hit it off immediately, swapped numbers and started to follow one another on Instagram.”Since then they’ve been regularly WhatsApping and getting to know each other.“It’s early days but both their respective sets of friends very much approve of this pairing, and it’s proving good fun for them both.”Alexander-Arnold will start on the bench tonight, alongside keeper Dean Henderson.Henderson’s stunning wife Millie is also in the stands – the pair tied the knot in 2022 with Lewis Capaldi serenading their guests.Fellow stopper Aaron Ramsdale’s wife Georgina wore a white England top with his No13 short on it and will be praying it doesn’t prove unlucky.Megan Davison is fully behind her husband and wore an orange goalkeeper top with a black jacket draped over her shoulders.Aine May Kennedy – Conor Gallagher’s long-term girlfriend – posted a picture of herself posing with five other Wags.Jarrod Bowen’s wife Dani Dyer, Ramsdale’s wife Georgina and Watkins’ partner Alderson were among the beaming beauties.READ MORE SUN STORIESTomali Benson wore a stylish custom jacket with Bukayo Saka’s original No87 jersey from his Arsenal days on it.While Harry Kane’s wife Katie Goodland drank in the atmosphere.Jordan Pickford’s partner Megan Davison wore an orange keeper’s jerseyCredit: RexAaron Ramsdale’s wife Georgina decided against a goalkeeper jersey but did pick his numberCredit: RexBukayo Saka’s partner Tomali Benson was in attendanceCredit: RexA group of Wags posed for a photo on Conor Gallagher’s long-term girlfriend Aine May Kennedy’s InstagramIris Law is dating Trent Alexander-ArnoldCredit: https://www.instagram.com/lirisaw/?hl=enDean Henderson’s wife was also spotted in the standsCredit: Rex More