Former England Striker, Emile Heskey – who put the final nail in the German coffin in England’s historic 5-1 win in Munich back in 2001 – has declared that Gareth Southgate’s men should fear no other nation as the Three Lions prepare for battle on British soil (Wembley Stadium) in their Euro 2020 Round of 16 clash with Germany on Tuesday evening, in what is set to be another historical duel between the two old rivals.
In an exclusive interview with Bookmakers.co.uk Heskey charged Southgate’s men: “We should never fear Germany, we should never fear anyone, especially with the players that we’ve got” He also spoke about new kid Bukayo Saka starting against Germany and Harry Kane leading the attack, plus the past encounters between the rivals. Excerpts…..
Heskey on trusting Kane to lead the Three Lions’ attack for victory against Germany:
“We should never fear Germany, we should never fear anyone, especially with the players that we’ve got.
“I think it’s going to be a bit of a cagey affair. I think Gareth is going to be cautious and it could be won or lost in midfield, we’ve got to be strong in there.
“But I see us winning 1-0, another clean sheet.
“I really want Harry Kane to get off the mark so I’m going to go with him as the goal scorer. He’s come in for quite a lot of criticism for a guy who has dug us out of a lot of holes. He needs the nation got get behind him now.”
Heskey, on his legendary goal for England in the historic 5-1 thrashing of Germany in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Olympiastadion, Munich in 2001
“I didn’t get the best of first touches, but I made sure I kept it low enough and hard enough to slot past Oliver Kahn.
“It’s the game that I always get stopped for whenever I’m out and about, all over the world that is, because there are England fans everywhere. I get a lot of thanks for that.”
Heskey on the historic England-German rivalry:
“If you were to ask the players, they’ll tell you it’s just another game, but it gets drummed up that much that you get sucked into all that tension. But the players will go out to win the game, like they do with every single game, they want to win every single one.
“At the end of the day, it’s a huge game. When you look at Germany, they’re there or thereabouts nine times out of ten, we’re used to seeing them winning tournaments or getting to finals. But then that gives people an extra incentive to beat them.”
Heskey on Southgate’s opportunity to exorcise the German ghosts of Euro 1996 when England, as hosts, lost to their old rivals in the semifinals via penalty shoot-out with the current coach missing his kick:
“I think it’s fantastic that he’s got a chance to write another chapter to the story. He had a fantastic career as a player, yet everyone remembers that particular moment. But now he has a chance to right that wrong with a wonderful crop of players.
“It’s not going to be easy against a Germany side who are probably not as strong as we expect for a German team, but when it comes to tournament football they have the know-how, they know how to get over the line.”
“I think we all would have preferred Hungary but it is what it is, let’s prepare and focus on Germany.”
Heskey on Saka starting ahead of Foden following his superstar debut against Czech Republic:
“Harry Maguire came back in and was solid, Saka was man of the match against Czech Republic and considering he hadn’t got any experience at this level before that I thought that was very impressive.”
“I think we’ve got to be happy with what we’ve seen so far. To go come through three Euros games without conceding a goal, topping the group – we’ve got to be doing something right.
“Yes, part of me wants Gareth to just let go and try to overpower everyone but there’s got to be balance and from a coach’s point of view he’s probably doing things the right way.
“I think he’s managed the rotation quite well so far – we saw Phil Foden sit out the last game – but I’m sure he’ll be back for the next one.
“That’s the dilemmas you can have as a coach. If someone comes in and plays well, what do you do for the next game? He’s got that problem now with Saka having played out of his skin and been the best player on the park.
“I would actually play him instead of Foden. I thought Jack Grealish was fantastic as well. He’s always a threat, always taking players on and causing a lot of disturbance.
“So it’s a great dilemma to have, but a touch one.”
Heskey, on Defensive General, Harry Maguire:
“He’s got a presence that can create a sense of calm around the back but he’s also very good at driving out with the ball from the back and setting things up.
“I didn’t expect his performance against Czech Republic to be that good considering how little football he’s played, he’s probably only had a few training sessions, but he was very composed.
“It’ll be interesting to see whether Maguire or Mings plays with Stones, or he could even go with all three. There’s so many different options.”Copyright © 2021 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.