Netherlands manager hits out England being called ‘boring’ after Euro 2024 exit | Football


Ronald Koeman insists England have ‘world-class players’ who will give Spain trouble (Getty/Reuters)

Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has hit back at suggestions that England have been ‘boring’ at Euro 2024 and believes Gareth Southgate’s side can beat Spain in Sunday’s final.

England have reached a final of the European Championship for the second successive tournament following a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands on Wednesday evening.

Xavi Simons’ spectacular goal gave the Netherlands an early lead in the semi final but England were handed an excellent chance to equalise after they were given a generous penalty for a foul on Harry Kane.

The England captain stepped up to score his spot kick to level the score and with the game looking set to go to extra time, substitute Ollie Watkins struck a brilliant low effort in the 90th minute to seal a last-gasp victory for the Three Lions, who now play Spain in the Euro 2024 final at 8pm this Sunday.

England and Southgate have faced heavy criticism throughout the tournament for their disjointed displays but Koeman insists the Three Lions have enough quality to beat Spain.

When it was suggested that fans do not want to watch a ‘boring’ England side in the final against Spain, Koeman said in his post-match press conference: ‘I think England showed great football in the first half after [going] 1-0 down.

Ollie Watkins was England’s hero against the Netherlands (Getty)

‘It’s football and maybe if you watch all the matches of them, maybe the Spanish national team are playing a little bit more offensive, with wingers, great football from the back, great ball possession. You need to stop that.

‘But England are in the final and they have possibilities to win it, maybe.

‘From outside, Spain are playing at a high level but England can stop them. Why not?’

Gareth Southgate has led England to consecutive European Championship finals (Reuters)

Asked if his Netherlands players were simply happy to settle for a place in the semi final, Koeman replied: ‘No, that’s not the case. I don’t know why you ask this question.

‘If you play in a semi final, of course, you want to do your best and go for everything because you want to play in the final.

‘It was difficult, there were four midfield players for England, it was difficult to guard them.

‘But it also has to do with the quality of the opponent, it doesn’t have anything to do with us, they were better, at some points we had a lot of ball possession and England had to drop deep, and it happened to us in the first half.

‘It’s not always due to our own performance, also because the quality of the opponents are better, we speak about Foden and Bellingham for instance, these are world-class players, and then in these situations you can encounter difficulties.’

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