‘Like a Shakespeare tragedy’: How Europe reacted to England’s win over Switzerland

'Like a Shakespeare tragedy': How Europe reacted to England's Euro 2024 win over Switzerland
Dutch media have criticised Harry Kane’s ability to score at Euro 2024 – Reuters/Lee Smith

England may have just produced their best performance of the European Championship but critics from Netherlands, France and Spain still savaged their display against Switzerland.

The biggest publications from the three other Euro 2024 semi-finalists were scathing of Gareth Southgate’s side following their quarter-final penalty shoot-out triumph.

Netherlands: ‘More like a Shakespeare tragedy’

The harshest criticism came from the Netherlands courtesy of De Telegraaf’s Marcel van der Kraan, who wrote: “For almost 75 minutes, England-Switzerland looked more like a William Shakespeare tragedy than a tough battle for a place in the European Championship semi-finals. The English, with their abundance of talent and quality, did not provide entertainment in any way.

“Fifteen minutes before the end, everyone in the packed Düsseldorf stadium thought that a team worth one and a half billion euros was being sent home by a country where they have 450 types of cheese and barely 11 reasonable football players.

“The greatest amount of entertainment surrounding the England team this tournament comes not from the players but from their wives. They provide more pages of entertainment, arguments and glamour performances in Germany than their highly paid men.”

Van der Kraan went on to cite “juicy details” about the private lives of Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker, the latter of whose wife and four children have been forced to share the same stadium with the mother of his other two children.

He added: “That those affairs and the ladies in pink slippers and Chanel bags on the runway in front of half a dozen private jets score more headlines than Harry Kane, who again had the fewest kilometres to his name against Switzerland, or the entire, very boring England team […], says everything.”

France: ‘A rare brilliance in a dreary evening’

In France, L’Équipe’s notoriously-brutal player ratings also made grim reading for England.

Walker was handed his third 3/10 of the Euros, Trippier, Kane, Ezri Konsa and even Jude Bellingham only received 4/10, while Phil Foden, while Kobbie Mainoo and John Stones all managed just five.

Declan Rice and shoot-out hero Jordan Pickford were deemed worthy of 7/10, with goal-scorer and man-of-the-match Bukayo Saka the only player to get 8/10. Manager Gareth Southgate was given just 5/10.

Branding England “lacklustre”, L’Équipe said they had been “perfect” in the shoot-out only “after two hours of play where they had all the trouble in the world to be dangerous”.

Branding Saka “for a long time the only offensive threat of his team”, it added: “In difficulty, the English have relied on their best weapon since the start of this Euro: individual exploits. This time it came from Bukayo Saka, a rare brilliance in a dreary evening.”‌

Spain: ‘Bellingham did little, like the rest of his team’

Spain’s Marca unsurprisingly focused on Real Madrid talisman Jude Bellingham, whose last-gasp overhead kick had got England out of jail against Slovakia in the previous round.

Jude Bellingham - 'Like a Shakespeare tragedy': How Europe reacted to England's Euro 2024 win over SwitzerlandJude Bellingham - 'Like a Shakespeare tragedy': How Europe reacted to England's Euro 2024 win over Switzerland

Spanish publication Marca has said Jude Bellingham is looking exhausted – Paul Grover for the Telegraph

Victor Romeo wrote: “Jude Bellingham is exhausted and if the helmsman does not pull the cart, the cart will not go forward. England went through to the semi-finals of the Euro Cup, but their great star is far from the best level. Like the rest of his team-mates, with the exception of the scorer Saka against Switzerland.

“Jude had his first significant action in the 31st minute, when he forced [Fabian] Schär to receive his first yellow card of the match and sparked a ‘Hey Jude’ chant from the crowd. Before and after that, he did little, like the rest of his team.

“In fact, the English ‘10’ could be seen on several occasions desperate at the play of his team-mates, not offering any opportunities when the ball went up in the pivot position or, when he was offside, for not keeping up with his rhythm.

“Another lacklustre game from ‘Jude’, but again, a key one for Southgate’s side.”‌

What have rival players said?

Players from England’s semi-final opponents, Netherlands, were far more forgiving about the performances of Southgate’s side.

Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo said: “I think everybody knows England has a very good team with very good players. We have that as well, so hopefully it’s going to be a good game.”

Cody Gakpo - 'Like a Shakespeare tragedy': How Europe reacted to England's Euro 2024 win over SwitzerlandCody Gakpo - 'Like a Shakespeare tragedy': How Europe reacted to England's Euro 2024 win over Switzerland

Asked about their dire displays in Germany, he replied: “But they win. They win. So, yeah, that’s a good sign. Like us. [Winning] is all that matters, at the end, yes. It’s the most important to win. You can play very good football, but if you don’t win, you’re out.”

Manchester City defender Nathan Ake added: “Sometimes, tournament football is not always about playing great. They are in a semi-final again. So, yeah, I think every team in the semi-final deserves to be there otherwise they wouldn’t be there.

“We know the quality they have, individual quality. As a team, they are in the semi-final, so we know it’s going to be tough. I think we have a few players, to be fair, from the Premier League as well. So most of them know how physical it will be, how tough it will be.”

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top