And just like that, Euro 2020 is over.
Italy are victorious.
A tough pill to swallow for all England fan’s, but we had a tournament to be proud of, both on and off of the pitch.
The nation, excluding a minority of idiots, united behind Gareth Southgate and the boys as they looked to change the perception of the England squad.
Whether for their fantastic on-field performances, or for their strength and desire to fight for what they believe in off-field – the whole squad did us proud.
Following the conclusion of Sunday’s final, I asked the members of the Archball team three questions.
- England’s best player?
- England’s best moment?
- Did England exceed expectations?
Here’s what they said.
Morgan Harvey – I believe Raheem Sterling was England’s player of the tournament because of the fact he single-handedly got us through the group stages, without his goals we wouldn’t have made it. He had his moments but for the most part he dropped, at a minimum, 7/10 performances and as the tournament went on, he improved.
Dan Naughton – My best player was Luke Shaw. He was so important for how England played. He finished the tournament with 4 goal involvements and was one of the most consistent and threatening players that England had.
Jamie Rooke – There were so many strong performers from Shaw to Walker, Rice to Pickford, but I think Raheem Sterling truly made the difference. When Kane maybe wasn’t as his goal scoring best, Sterling, who was coming off a heavily criticised season and many were against him starting (me included), still shone through. Not only with his goals but with his willingness to pick up the ball, drive forward and force the initiative when others were maybe a bit more hesitant and cautious. Sterling was in my opinion the best player in the whole tournament, not just England’s!
Matt Hill – I don’t think anyone can say any player had a bad tournament. For me I think it’s between Phillips, Rice and Sterling. I’m going to go for Kalvin Phillips because he had a bit of everything.
Lee Eccles – It has to be Raheem Sterling; he ran defences ragged with his direct dribbling and popped up with important goals in important moments and without him we would certainly not have gotten as far as we did.
Jack Bibb – Kalvin Phillips. Honourable mention to Jordan Pickford, but I think Phillips really exceeded all expectation’s this tournament. He filled-in for the injured Jordan Henderson and shut down the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric- a great breakout tournament for the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’.
Tom Cayless – For me there’s been a few excellent performers. For example Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire, but the obvious one is Raheem Sterling, the boy from Brent has proven everyone wrong. He’s been immense.
- England’s EURO 2020 tournament and final review
- A letter to Gareth Southgate and the England squad ahead of the EURO 2020 final
- England 2-1 Denmark: Special night at Wembley secures final for England.
M. Harvey – The first goal vs Germany was an unreal moment for all England fans, it was at that point you could believe that we might actually go all the way.
DN – My best moment was Sterling’s goal versus Germany as before this the attitude to England in this tournament had been pessimistic to say the least and this goal, I feel, made the nation believe we can go far.
JR – I mean there were so many good moments. Obviously we came up short in the end but along with Shaw’s early goal in the final, Kane following in his penalty and giving us the lead in extra time against the Danes was the highest of highs. They were a tough side with some breakout stars but we put in a professional tournament and for our captain and talisman to have the decisive touch at the penultimate hurdle was quite something.
M. Hill – I think it has to be one of the knockout games and they were all special in their own right. Beating one of the big nations is always good. The manner of the Ukraine game was also good. But for the best moment I’m going to say the victory in the semi-final to get to the first final for 55 years and the celebrations at Wembley.
LE – When Harry Kane knocked in the rebound against Denmark, I think at that moment it felt like every thing was going to come up roses for England. The whole nation felt united in a sense of pride that it could come home.
JB – Harry Kane’s goal vs Denmark. The moment England made history and progressed to a major international tournament for the first time in 55 years. Historic, iconic, unforgettable. The moment itself was nothing special but the gravity of the moment was one for the history books.
TC – It has to be that penalty from Harry Kane against Denmark. Pure jubilation, emotions were high, genuinely wonderful.
Did England exceed your expectations?
M. Harvey – I always believed we had the team to reach a final, however, as most people do, they had doubts about the manager. Overall we had an unbelievable tournament.
DN – This England team massively exceeded my expectations. They may have had a relatively lucky draw to the final but they never once embarrassed the country. For once, a whole nation was behind England and we couldn’t have asked for more.
JR – This depends on how optimistic you were coming into the tournament. We built really well on a strong 2018 World Cup and it was a natural path of progression so I would say we matched expectations. We are now amongst the elite and should be taken very seriously, but we aren’t quite over the line yet. I thought we’d lose to France in the final from the get-go and whilst the opponent was different, and the manner in which we lost was oh so painful, they did us proud. From Rashford to Sancho to Saka, even Ben White, Sam Johnstone and the other players that didn’t get minutes, they did us proud. The squad is as harmonious as ever and the only thing that can ruin that now is the poisonous section of England fans. France and Portugal, amongst others, will be back stronger next year, but so will we as long as we believe in the boys.
M. Hill – I wasn’t sure what to expect, probably quarter-finals, maybe semi-finals. I always hoped they could get to the final but I never really expected them to so yes I think they did.
LE – At the start of the tournament, I expected Quarters if we had a lucky draw but to get to the final is an incredible achievement and despite the loss, they went above and beyond where I really thought we could get to, and I could not be prouder of the players.
JB – Before the tournament I predicted us to win the whole tournament, but I also said we could’ve just of easily crashed out in the Round of 16 to France or Portugal. A tremendous effort from a brilliant set of young lads, I don’t think we can be disappointed with getting to the final. Qatar 2022 is our year!
TC – Yes, yes we did. This team has brought belief and a connection back to the fans, that’s bigger than winning the tournament itself in my eyes.