There are so many lessons to be learnt from watching England move through the Euros 2020, which actually was played in 2021, because of the Pandemic. Every team they faced, English men and women were nervous that they would lose the game, after all England never does well in major competitions or do they?
Gareth Southgate’s management style is being hailed as superior compared to all previous managers that have come before and indeed it is. The team appears to be more cohesive, supportive and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Inevitably the pressure on manager, support staff and players must be immense. Having to play mainly in front of an English crowd who will cheer when you do well, but will sneer when you don’t. The press is the same too, the headlines will be celebrating every win and destroy the team when they lose.
This year appeared to be different because England were not losing any games and had a clean sheet and made it all the way through to the semi-finals. England has been there before actually, it was the world cup in 2018, but didn’t make it through to the final that year. This year and for the first time in 55 years England made it through to the final of the Euros in 2021.
The celebrations started across all of England and confidence was very high, despite the fact that England would be facing Italy who had a 33 game run of zero losses. I always say the trend is your friend. But this is football and anything can happen.
So when England scored within the first 2 minutes of the game confidence of everyone in England including the players went sky high! But when you watched the manager, he just applauded, but didn’t celebrate. He knew what Italy was capable of.
Sure enough Italy came back and showed everyone why they had a 33 game run of no losses. When it went to extra time and then penalties, I guarantee that every person in England had their heads in their hands. They expected England to lose on penalties and of course so did the players.
This lack of confidence in England will haunt the players, the pundits, the managers, the fans and the whole nation for decades to come.
The conditioned mind is something that we all have the fear, we have no control over it, it’s nature but it’s lethal, it decides how we will feel. We have all been conditioned by past experience and as some of us will know, past experience never repeats itself, it’s impossible to do so. People, places and times will always be different to past experiences, but somehow due to our conditioned minds it believes it is the same experience.
England lost a football match, but they won the hearts of the nation, they have much to be proud of, despite losing in the final.
Originally published at https://www.stayingaliveuk.com on July 12, 2021.