Spanish and Dutch media taunt England after reaching Euro 2024 semi-finals | Football | Sport

It seems the old adage of ‘don’t give the opposition a team talk’ has been lost on the Dutch media ahead of their country’s Euro 2024 semi-final clash with England. And it’s not just journalists in Holland getting stuck in, with the Spanish press equally scathing despite the Three Lions beating Switzerland on penalties on Saturday.

Again, Gareth Southgate’s men found a way to win after trailing in the latter stages, but the overall display left the players and manager facing now family criticism.

Indeed, goalscorer Bukayo Saka was one of the few to emerge with credit, while the likes of captain Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden appeared off the boil as England failed to muster a shot on target until deep into the second half.

But regardless, they’ll face Ronald Koeman’s side in Dortmund on Wednesday, and will do so with Dutch jibes ringing in their ears. De Telegraaf’s Marcel van der Kraan was one to be savage about the manner of England’s shootout win, throwing in a bizarre comparison for good measure.

“For almost 75 minutes, England v Switzerland looked more like a William Shakespeare tragedy than a tough battle for a place in the European Championship semi-finals,” he wrote. “The English, with their abundance of talent and quality, did not provide entertainment in any way.

“Fifteen minutes before the end, everyone in the packed Dusseldorf stadium thought that a team worth one and a half billion euros was being sent home. And by a country where they have 450 types of cheese and barely 11 reasonable football players.”

Der Kran also got personal. He claimed that the wives of the England players were providing a “greater amount of entertainment” and speculated about the private lives of Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker.

Spain’s Marca newspaper wasn’t complimentary either, arguing that Bellingham’s apparent fatigue was having a profound effect on his side’s overall performance. “Jude Bellingham is exhausted and if the helmsman does not pull the cart, the cart will not go forward,” wrote Victor Romeo.

“Jude had his first significant action in the 31st minute, when he forced (Fabian) Schar to receive his first yellow card of the match and sparked a ‘Hey Jude’ chant from the crowd. Before and after that, he did little, like the rest of his team.”

Irrespective of the analysis though, England have won through to a third semi-final in four major international tournaments since Gareth Southgate took charge in 2016. And while the Dutch media have been notably brutal, Koeman’s players have not followed suit since their 2-1 win over Turkey.

Asked about the prospect of facing Bellingham and co, forward Cody Gakpo said: “I think everybody knows England has a very good team with very good players. We have that as well, so hopefully it’s going to be a good game.”

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