Current and Former Villa Captain History Makers
Unless you were present on this earth in 1966 you’ll have never seen England win a major tournament semi-final. You’d probably never seen a player ‘subbed subbed’ in a semi-final either. While Jack Grealish taking one for the team riled up some Villa fans, the big picture is England fans are in dreamland reaching only their second ever major final in their history.
A final between England vs Italy could potentially be an epic occasion with home advantage and a lack of travel aiding the progress of the England team. Of course, the single-mindedness of their manager Gareth Southgate has gone a long way to getting England to Wembley on Sunday, with him shutting up his doubters along the way.
Much criticism has been emotionally led, from a Villa fan point of view at least (what’s this supposed ‘agenda’ against Grealish?), while the main question marks have been against his cautious pragmatic approach. Results are king though, and if’s and but’s carry little currency.
Southgate is the first ever England manager to get England into a Euros final, the first ever to post back-to-back major semi-finals too. Along the way, the ex-Villa captain has exorcised his semi-final penalty miss in 1996, by both beating Germany and winning the semi-final against Denmark this tournament. That is the big story here and has got lost by some Villa fans crying over Grealish not playing enough.
For the record, Grealish is loving life and having a once in a generation experience as a footballer. He’s come on and celebrated a rare win against Germany (after being instrumental in winning the game) and he’s also come on in a semi-final to experience celebrating the winning goal and only two sets of England players have ever experienced that.
To think, with his three-month injury this season, he almost didn’t make it this summer, so context is needed.
Both current Villa captain and former Villa captain have done excellent jobs up until this point. To improve on it on Sunday, will be absolutely huge for all concerned.
In the meantime, the MOMS podcast team give their match reaction to a unique night at Wembley against the Danes, including discussing Grealish’s situation in the match, all served up with a dollop of vindaloo.
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David Michael – @oldmansaid
Chris Budd – @BUDD_music
Phillip Shaw – @prsgame
My Old Man Said – https://myoldmansaid.com
Editor/Producer – David Michael
Music – Philip Marten