Euro 2024: Gareth Southgate Hits Back at Erik ten Hag Over Criticism of England’s Style of Play

Euro 2024: Gareth Southgate Hits Back at Erik ten Hag Over Criticism of England’s Style of Play

Elijah Odetokun
June 20, 2024 at 11:32 AM
In this article:
G. Southgate
-DEngland logo
England logo
UEFA European Championship logo
  • England won their first match of the 2024 European Championship by a narrow 1-0 scoreline victory against Serbia
  • Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag, claimed he was unimpressed with the Three Lions style of play in the tie
  • Gareth Southgate has responded to the Dutch tactician and explained the tactical setup for the Denmark game

PAY ATTENTION: Checkout Fixtures; Live Scores; Results and Tables section on Sports Brief and never miss out on the action ⚽️

England manager, Gareth Southgate, has responded to Erik ten Hag’s criticism of his team's setup during their 1-0 victory over Serbia in their Euro 2024 opener on June 16.

The Three Lions opened their European Championship campaign with a narrow victory, thanks to Jude Bellingham’s first-half header, but were second-best for the rest of the match.

Jarrod Bowen, Gareth Southgate, England, Serbia, AufSchalke Arena, Euro 2024, Germany.
Gareth Southgate passing instructions to Jarrod Bowen during England's Euro 2024 1-0 win over Serbia at AufSchalke on June 16, 2024. Photo by Eddie Keogh.
Source: Getty Images

Manchester United boss, ten Hag, hit out at Southgate for the team's setup, claiming it was passive and they were trying to sit on a 1-0 lead early in the match.

"England were playing very passive. I actually saw them moving backwards, they kept Serbia coming at them. It’s the vision of the manager [Southgate]," he told NOS as quoted by Goal.
"England will take a 1-0 lead, then [Southgate] decides to start gambling by making his team compact and relying on moments for the remaining minutes of the game."

Southgate responds to ten Hag's criticism

The Euro 2020 finalists take on Denmark later today in their second group game, and during his press conference, the boss took time to hit back at the former Ajax boss.

His response did not directly attack the Dutch manager but instead provided insight into his team's play.

"During the course of a tournament, there are obviously millions of opinions in different directions, and so whilst I’m not reading a thing or listening to a thing, you become aware of these things because they get sent to you," he said via Mirror UK.
"I think there are different moments, different flows of games, moments where you’re in control and you can push forward, moments where you’ve got a different problem to solve. Every coach would reflect on that," Southgate commented.

According to Sky Sports, the former Middlesbrough boss is expected to name an unchanged XI for today's second group game against Denmark.

Why England players will stay off social media

Sports Brief also reported why England players will avoid social media during Euro 2024 as they hope to go one step beyond the last edition, where they finished second.

The English national team have been the recipient of the most online abuse during international tournaments, hence the need for regulated use of time on social media.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.