I HAVEN’T said this too often in the past but nothing about Germany scares me and I’m delighted we’re playing them.
None of us need telling how they’ve broken English hearts more than once over the years. But this time I honestly believe they are there for the taking.
It’s a great, great draw because I think both France and Portugal would have given us a far bigger test.
Didi Hamann is far better placed than me to comment on German football and he insists this is their worst national team he’s ever seen.
In fact before the Euros, he didn’t think they would even get out of the group.
Well, they might have managed that — eventually — but they are bang average. In the first game they were well beaten. There might have only been one goal in it but France had a couple disallowed and weren’t exactly struggling to hang on.
I know Germany beat Portugal in the second game but we saw how they struggled against a quick counter-attack.
Then they couldn’t beat Hungary in Munich, so there’s not been much to frighten Gareth Southgate.
When you’re a manager, there are certain games when you think “this is perfect for us” and this is one of them.
Everyone will want England to win — probably even most of the neutrals, too — and for once we are right to have every confidence that we will.
And the best way is for us to have a go, to be positive and get at them.
We’ve had a couple of 1-0s but we have the players who can open them up, so let’s do it.
Mats Hummels has been a marvellous defender over the years but he’s had his day and Harry Kane should be licking his lips.
Harry might not have been at his best so far but you can bet your life he’ll score — and once he does, he’ll go on a run.
The thing is, we’re winning games and the best player has not been great, so that shows what a chance we have when he does come good.
And that, believe me, is only a matter of time.
I really hope Gareth plays Jack Grealish again, too — although I have my doubts as to whether he will — because he could have a field day.
Phil Foden has got to come back in and, of course, you can’t drop Raheem Sterling after scoring the winner in two games so far.
So, as tough as it is seeing how well he did against the Czechs, I would probably leave out Bukayo Saka.
You could have Foden coming in off one wing, Sterling off another, Jack buzzing around just behind Kane.
But the best thing is that with those three it would be so fluid and so difficult for the Germans to get a grip on them.
I can’t see any way Gareth won’t go with two holding midfielders again. After three clean sheets he’s not about to change that.
It’s just a question of whether Jordan Henderson comes in, although Kalvin Phillips was great in the first game and Declan Rice has been as steady as ever.
And while we’ve not exactly been free-scoring, we’ve been as tight as a drum in defence. The centre-backs haven’t put a foot wrong.
Another ‘0’ against us and we’re through with one goal. Either that or penalties at the very least . . . although none of us want that again!
But with those four forwards, I really think we will do some damage.
So come on, Gareth, let’s go and win the game.
You don’t say it very often when Germany are the opponents but I will be very, very disappointed if we don’t knock them over.
There’s no reason why we can’t go all the way when you look at how the draw’s panned out. Oh my god, what a chance we’ve got!
France, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Spain… all of them in the other half, so what an opportunity this is.
Mind you, we said that against Iceland a few years ago, so I suppose we shouldn’t get too carried away.
And before we played Croatia in 2018, I felt it was almost like getting a bye into the World Cup final…
But you can’t help getting excited at what could happen here.
We’re in a position where we can do anything. We’re the better team, we’ve got better players and I’m confident we can beat anyone.
So come on England, this is your chance. We’ll never have a better one.
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