Netherlands vs England Prediction: How Southgate has rewritten England’s penalty rulebook

 | Monday 8th July 2024, 12:05pm

Monday 8th July 2024, 12:05pm

Screenshot 2024-07-08 at 11.28.40

England’s men did something they had never done before in their Euro 2024 quarter-final win over Switzerland. They scored five out of five penalties in a shootout, and after Jordan Pickford saved Manuel Akanji’s effort, booked their place in the final four. 

They’ve never ever scored all five penalties before, even in previous successes. But penalty successes were not even a thing before Gareth Southgate donned his waistcoat and took the job back in 2016. This is likely to be his last tournament, and although some disagree with his tactics, there is one undeniable thing he deserves praise for. England are no longer haunted by a penalty voodoo. 

Below we explore how he has done it, whether it can carry England to Euro 2024 glory and my our Netherlands vs England prediction,

Netherlands vs England Betting Tips

  • England to win on penalties @ 8/1

It feels like a different world now, but England used to be utterly hopeless at penalties. They had genuine chances to win major tournaments in 1990, 1996, 2004 and 2006 - but lost on penalties each and every time. The heartache was so severe that England lost all hope of ever progressing on penalties. 

From Chris Waddle to Stuart Pearce, Darius Vassell to Frank Lampard, the names that have missed in shootouts have their names etched into the fabric of this nation. Another defeat followed in 2012 as Andrea Pirlo Panenka’d Joe Hart, before the most painful one of the lot - the Euro 2020 final defeat at Wembley. 

That one came under the reign of Gareth Southgate, but it feels like it is now an anomaly. England have won shootouts against Colombia and now two against Switzerland, as the players and manager appear to have crafted a system that works. 

Gary Neville has alluded to it several times, but the preparation simply wasn’t there for the Golden Generation to win shootouts. They practiced in training, but they did so as a full squad - and they found it difficult to replicate the pressure that came in tournaments. Perhaps it was too relaxed, with the likes of Lampard and Steven Gerrard able to ping in penalties in training until the cows came home. 

Euro 2024 Odds

Perhaps the club loyalties in the squad had ingrained themselves too much, and there was not the same unity we see today. The press also played their part. The viciousness of the reporting, and hunt for a scapegoat must have made an impact, as multiple players and managers seemed scared to fail. 

Now the press these days are far from perfect, but what Southgate has created is a positive relationship between the squad and the journalists who travel with England. They play darts together, and there is certainly a less ‘us vs them’ mentality, as the manager knows he need them onside if the squad is to be successful. The squad harmony is also the best it has ever been and the players are in the very best place to succeed from the spot. 

Then we come to the penalties themselves. It has been reported that Southgate is very meticulous with his planning, and takes three or four players away after training to practice in a serious environment. There is no joking about, and the walk from the halfway line is recreated. As you noticed on Saturday, the takers all have their individual processes, which usually starts with Jordan Pickford giving them the ball and involves breathing techniques before they shoot.

Englandtowinonpens

The chaos vs calm in the period between extra-time and penalties is also crucial. In the final against Italy, there was a little too much confusion in the post-match huddle, while two takers in the form of Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford had only come onto the pitch with 90 seconds to go. Against Switzerland, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ivan Toney were given a longer amount of time to get up to speed and get a few touches of the ball, before the penalties began. That is clearly something Southgate has taken into account. 

This time around, even without Harry Kane on the pitch, Southgate and the players were both clear and decisive. In the middle of the huddle, with a folder containing the takers and their stats, the manager didn’t say too much. In fact, in this situation it has been statistically proven that too many instructions can have a negative influence on the players. Instead, he assertively pointed at the players, and said their names in the order they would take.

“Cole, first. Jude, second. Bukayo, third. Ivan, fourth. Trent, fifth.”

He even went further down the order, to Eberechi Eze, Jordan Pickford and Luke Shaw, making sure every single player knew their jobs. There were no surprises, while Southgate also had fantastic penalty takers on the pitch. Cole Palmer and Toney are two of the best penalty takers in the world, while Bukayo Saka has now become Arsenal’s designated taker. Jude Bellingham has the technique and arrogance needed to score a penalty, while Trent’s technique is second-to-none. 

Netherlands vs England Odds

Then we come to England’s penalty hero. Jordan Pickford. The research the goalkeeping department had done was printed on his water bottle, telling him which way to dive. He executed his save perfectly, and has now stopped at least one penalty in every shootout he has been involved in for England. He’s somewhat of a specialist at this point. 

If England make it to penalties again, we have every right to be confident. From the psychology, to the technique, every aspect has been revamped, and Southgate deserves huge credit for that progress. Shootouts are no longer something to be feared, but relished.  

Check out our other Euro 2024 Betting Tips here. 

 

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