Connect with us


Euro 2024: ‘England are about to really feel the pressure now’ – Alan Shearer



Euro 2024: ‘England are about to really feel the pressure now’ – Alan Shearer

Blocking out the noise about your performances is even more difficult now than it was during my England days because of social media and the increased scrutiny the players are under.

Southgate has already spoken about it to his squad after the opening win over Serbia in Group C and explained how there are usually 20 Premier League teams to write or talk about, but now all eyes are on them.

He’s right and, to deal with that, the players are better off staying off in the bubble inside the camp. I always did.

Walker says he rarely reads the media or pays attention to what is being said on TV or radio, and I was exactly the same in his situation.

I experienced the full force of it at Euro ’96. We had gone on a tour of the Far East a couple of weeks before the tournament started and there were some incidents, including the original ‘dentist’s chair’ escapade, that resulted in us getting a lot of stick in the media.

So, we were under pressure because of that and, because we were hosts, there was also an expectation for us to perform on our own patch.

We started the tournament slowly, with a 1-1 draw with Switzerland when we did not play particularly well. But any criticism we got for that did not affect us because we already had a siege mentality in the squad after the coverage we had received before a ball was kicked.

Our manager Terry Venables dealt with it brilliantly to take the pressure off us and made sure that, inside the England camp, it was still a positive place to be.

It is going to be down to Gareth Southgate to try to do the same in the coming days, because there is probably a barrage of criticism on the way.

The manager is going to bear the brunt it, because we are not seeing these players perform the same way for England as they do every week for their clubs.

Continue Reading