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England Postwar Lineups and Match Highlights
By Norman Giller, Football Author

Part 10:  1990-91 to 1995-96

Norman Giller, long-time football journalist and author of more than 60 football books, has generously sent us England lineups and match highlights from his recent Billy Wright biography, reviewed elsewhere on this website, and his book on England's managers, Don't Shoot the Manager (1994), with permission to reproduce them.

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No 439

Hungary, Wembley, 12.9.90. England won 1-0

Woods   Dixon   Pearce (Dorigo)   Parker   Walker  Wright     

Platt   Gascoigne  Bull (Waddle)  Lineker*1     Barnes J.

Highlights: Graham Taylor made Gary Lineker captain for his first match as England manager, and it was the new skipper who scored the match-winning goal in the last minute of the first-half. David Platt had a shot beaten out, Paul Gascoigne played the ball back in and Lineker swooped to put the finishing touch from six yards. Taylor, who had never played football at the highest level, stuck with a Robson-look selection for his opening matches, bringing in only Arsenal right-back Lee Dixon for the second of his twenty-two caps.

No 440

Poland, Wembley, 17.10.90. England won 2-0

Woods  Dixon  Pearce Parker  Walker  Wright              

Platt   Gascoigne  Bull (Waddle)  Lineker*1 (Beardsley1)        Barnes J.

Highlights: A Gary Lineker penalty after his header had been handled on the line gave England the lead in the fortieth minute of this opening European championship qualifier. Peter Beardsley, substituting for injured Lineker in the fifty-sixth minute, made the points safe with a second goal in the eighty-ninth minute.  It was a cracker from Beardsley, his shot curling away from the diving goalkeeper and still picking up pace on its way into the net. So far so good for Taylor, and his willingness to talk openly after the game made him an instant hit with the media.

No 441

Republic of Ireland, Dublin, 14.11.90. Drew 1-1

Woods   Dixon  Pearce    Adams  Walker  Wright       

Platt1   Cowans   Beardsley   Lineker*  McMahon

Highlights: Graham Taylor made the surprise tactical decision to leave out Paul Gascoigne when most people felt that his flair might have made the difference against Jack Charlton's well-drilled Republic of Ireland team in this European championship qualifier.  Gordon Cowans was recalled in place of Gazza for his first cap for four years. England were flattered by their 1-0 lead when David Platt scored in the  sixty-seventh minute of a match in which skill took second place to strength, and justice was done when Tony Cascarino equalised in the seventy ninth minute after coming on as a substitute.

No 442

Cameroon, Wembley, 6.2.91. England won 2-0

Seaman  Dixon  Pearce   Steven   Walker   Wright M.

Robson* (Pallister)  Gascoigne (Hodge)  Wright I.  Lineker2  Barnes J.

Highlights: Cameroon were a delight in the World Cup finals but a bitter disappointment in this friendly match on a frost-bitten Wembley turf. There was huge frustration when their Italia '90 hero Roger Milla refused to play following a disagreement over his appearance fee. The Africans replaced their usual bright, attacking football with a dour defensive game and they produced a spate of spiteful tackles including a reckless challenge on Gary Lineker by the goalkeeper that brought a twentieth minute penalty. Lineker scored from the spot to complete a hat-trick of penalties against Cameroon, the first two being converted in the World Cup match in Italy. It was Lineker who turned in a Stuart Pearce corner in the sixty-second minute to finish off the Africans. Crystal Palace striker Ian Wright became Graham Taylor's second new cap.

No 443

Republic of Ireland, Wembley, 27.3.91. Drew 1-1

Seaman  Dixon1  Pearce  Adams (Sharpe)  Walker  Wright M.            

Robson*  Platt   Beardsley  Lineker (Wright I.)  Barnes J.

Highlights: Lee Dixon's first goal for England in the ninth minute of this European championship return match was cancelled out eighteen minutes later by Niall Quinn. Manchester United's exciting young prospect Lee Sharpe was introduced to international football at the start of the second-half, but England were lamentable in front of goal against Irish defenders who took no prisoners. Bryan Robson was called up for the first time by Graham Taylor, but he could not galvanise England into winning action. It was Robson's eighty-ninth cap. Injuries robbed him of at least another twenty caps.

No 444

Turkey, Izmir, 1.5.91. England won 1-0

Seaman   Dixon  Pearce  Wise1  Walker  Pallister 

Platt   Thomas (Hodge)   Smith  Lineker*  Barnes J.

Highlights: Dennis Wise, picked for his first cap despite a poor run of form with Wimbledon, silenced the critics of his selection with the crucial winning goal that he scrambled into the Turkish net in the thirty-second minute of this European championship qualifier. Geoff Thomas also made his international bow in a largely undistinguished game, and was substituted at half-time by Steve Hodge. David Seaman was in excellent form, and looked ready and able to challenge Chris Woods for the role of regular successor to the great Peter Shilton.

No 445

USSR, Wembley, 21.5.91. England won 3-1

Woods  Stevens  Dorigo  Wise (Batty)  Parker  Wright M.*    

Platt2    Thomas  Smith1  Wright I.  (Beardsley)   Barnes J.

Highlights: Only 23,789 fans bothered to turn up to see England play Russia in the contrived 'England Challenge Cup', a three-way tournament that also included Argentina. David Platt got England off to a flying start with a fourth-minute goal from the penalty spot, and Alan Smith made it 2-0 twelve minutes later. An own goal by Mark Wright gave the Russians brief hope of getting back into the game before Platt finished  them off with an eighty-ninth minute strike. David ‘Bites Yer Legs’ Batty started his international career as a seventieth minute substitute.

No 446

Argentina, Wembley, 25.5.91. Drew 2-2

Seaman  Dixon  Pearce  Batty Walker  Wright M.             

Platt1  Thomas  Smith  Lineker*1   Barnes J. (Clough)

Highlights: England carelessly let a two-goal lead slip in a four-minute spell midway through the second-half of a game that was always niggly and bad-tempered, with the Argentineans giving better than they received in the nasty tackles department. Gary Lineker scored in the fifteenth minute (his fortieth goal) and David Platt made it 2-0 five minutes after half-time. Lineker had the hollow honour of collecting the Challenge Cup as the Argentineans trudged off to a chorus of boos. Nothing had been achieved in the area of repairing the poor relationships between the two nations..

No 447

Australia, Sydney, 1.6.91. England won 1-0 (own goal1)

Woods  Parker  Pearce   Batty  Walker  Wright M.         

Platt   Thomas  Clough  Lineker* (Wise)  Hirst (Salako)

No 448

New Zealand, Auckland, 3.6.91. England won 1-0

Woods  Parker  Pearce   Batty (Deane)  Walker   Barrett        

Platt  Thomas  Wise   Lineker*1   Walters (Salako)

No 449

New Zealand, Wellington, 8.6.91. England won 2-0

Woods   Charles   Pearce*1  Wise  Walker  Wright M.               

Platt     Thomas    Deane (Hirst1)  Wright I.  Salako

Highlights: Like his predecessor Bobby Robson, Graham Taylor reluctantly inherited a 'Down Under' tour that did little for him apart from provide some fresh scenery. An own goal five minutes before half-time gave England victory over Australia in Sydney, and an injury-time goal by Gary Lineker saved blushes in the first match against New Zealand in Auckland. A goal in each half by Stuart Pearce and David Hirst gave England a 2-0 victory in the return match in Wellington. Hirst was one of six players awarded their first caps during the tour, along with John Salako, Earl Barrett, Brian Deane, Mark Walters and Gary Charles. 

No 450

Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, 12.6.91. England won 4-2

Woods  Charles  Pearce  Batty  Walker  Wright M.        

 Platt   Thomas  Clough   Lineker*4  Salako

Highlights: Gary Lineker produced the second four-goal burst of his international career, taking over from Jimmy Greaves as the second top England scorer of all time and he was now just four goals behind Bobby Charlton's record 49-goal haul. Many considered this should not have been classified as a full international, but there was no doubting Lineker's ability as a deadly finisher as he found the net in the first, twenty-third, thirtieth and seventieth minutes.  Lineker joined the England squad just for this match after taking part in club commitments with Tottenham. This was the second time he had scored four goals in an England shirt, and it included his fifth hat-trick.

No 451

Germany, Wembley, 11.9.91. England lost 1-0

Woods   Dixon   Dorigo   Batty    Pallister    Parker     

Platt   Steven (Stewart)   Smith   Lineker*  Salako (Merson)

Highlights: England created enough chances to have held a comfortable lead long before Riedle headed West Germany into the lead a minute before half-time. There was much to applaud in England's approach work, but their finishing was feeble. Graham Taylor tried to rectify the situation by sending on new caps Paul Stewart and Paul Merson, but it was the world champions who came closest to scoring in the second-half when Lothar Matthaus brought out the best in Chris Woods with a thirty-yard drive. It was the first defeat of Taylor's reign after an unbeaten run of twelve matches.

No 452

Turkey, Wembley, 16.10.91. England won 1-0

Woods   Dixon   Pearce  Batty  Walker   Mabbutt       

Robson   Platt   Smith1  Lineker*  Waddle

Highlights: Alan Smith headed home a Stuart Pearce cross midway through the first-half to give England maximum points in this European championship qualifier, but there was little for Graham Taylor to enthuse about. The Turks might easily have salvaged a draw but for a couple of excellent saves by Chris Woods and the intervention of a post when he was beaten by a snap shot from Riza. Bryan Robson made his ninetieth and final appearance in an England shirt that he had always worn with such pride and passion.

No 453

Poland, Poznan, 13.11.91. Drew 1-1

Woods   Dixon  Pearce  Gray (Smith)  Walker  Mabbutt          

Platt   Thomas  Rocastle   Lineker*1 Sinton (Daley)

Highlights: Just one scoring chance came Gary Lineker's way in this tough and tense European championship qualifier and he tucked it away with tremendous style, volleying the ball into the net on the turn in the seventy-seventh minute. It equalised a thirty-second minute Polish goal that went into the net off Gary Mabbutt and it clinched England's place in the European championship finals. Andy Gray, Andy Sinton and Tony Daley won their first caps.

No 454

France, Wembley, 19.2.92. England won 2-0

Woods  Jones  Pearce*   Keown  Walker  Wright M.      

Webb    Thomas  Clough  Shearer1      Hirst (Lineker1)

Highlights: France came to Wembley hailed as the new wonder team of Europe after a run of nineteen matches without defeat, but they were sent crashing by an England team producing their finest performance since Graham Taylor became manager. Alan Shearer illuminated his debut with a well-taken goal a minute before half-time, swiveling to guide the ball into the net after Mark Wright had flicked on a Nigel Clough centre. The goal boosted England's confidence, and they were always looking the superior side in the second-half against a smooth but punchless French team that had not been beaten for three years. Graham Lineker, who had announced that he was retiring from international football after the European championship finals, joined the game as a substitute and collected his forty-seventh goal in the seventy-fourth minute to knock the heart out of Michel Platini's highly regarded team. Rob Jones and Martin Keown made their debuts along with Shearer.

No 455

Czechoslovakia, Prague, 25.3.92. Drew 2-2

Seaman   Keown1   Pearce*    Rocastle (Dixon)  Walker   Mabbutt (Lineker)

Platt   Merson1  Clough (Stewart)   Hateley  Barnes J. (Dorigo)

Highlights: A much-changed England twice came back from a goal down to force a draw against a talented Czechoslovakian team. It was a match of mistakes in both goal areas, and a particularly unhappy game for Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, whose fumbling form led to him losing his number two spot in the European championship squad. Highbury team-mates Paul Merson and Martin Keown both scored their first goals for England, Merson equalizing in the twenty-eighth minute and Keown scoring with a spectacular shot in the sixty-sixth minute after an appalling error by Seaman had let the Czechs in for their second goal on the hour.

No 456

CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), Moscow, 29.4.92. Drew 2-2

Woods (Martyn)   Stevens  Sinton (Curle)    Palmer    Walker  Keown            

Platt  Steven1 (Stewart)   Shearer (Clough)  Lineker*1 Daley

Highlights: Gary Lineker struck his forty-eighth goal in the fourteenth minute, and then managed to miss a much easier chance that would have brought him level with Bobby Charlton's all-time record. It was to be his final goal in an outstanding England career. CIS, made up of the remnants of the old Soviet empire in an era of crumbling walls and shifting boundaries, scored at the end of the first-half and the beginning of the second-half.  It was Trevor Steven who saved the match for England with his first international goal for six years in the seventy-second minute. Graham Taylor gave first caps to Nigel Martyn, Carlton Palmer and Keith Curle, and the media began to question his selection policy and whether he really had any idea what his best team might be.

No 457

Hungary, Budapest, 12.5.92. England won 1-0 (own goal1)

Martyn (Seaman)   Stevens  Dorigo   Curle (Sinton)   Walker   Keown   

Webb  (Batty)  Palmer  Merson (Smith)  Lineker* (Wright I.)  Daley

Highlights: Graham Taylor fielded sixteen players in what was developing into a bewildering search for his best squad for the European championships in Sweden.  Gary Lineker turned goalmaker in the fifty-sixth minute when his cross to the far post was forced into the net off a defender by a determined Neil Webb. England's defence had been pulled inside out by the Hungarian forwards in the first-half before they lost their momentum after a series of missed chances.

No 458

Brazil, Wembley, 17.5.92. Drew 1-1

Woods   Stevens   Dorigo (Pearce)   Palmer   Walker  Keown     

Daley  (Merson)  Steven (Webb)  Platt1  Lineker* Sinton (Rocastle)

Highlights: Gary Lineker, of all people, missed an early penalty and the chance to equal Bobby Charlton's record, and it was an inexperienced Brazilian team that took the lead in the twentieth minute through Bebeto after a mistake by Gary Stevens. David Platt snatched an equaliser ten minutes after half-time as England once again came from behind to save a game.  It was an experimental Brazilian team, rebuilding ready for a challenge for the 1994 World Cup. There was sufficient evidence to suggest they would once again be a force to be reckoned with in the United States, as would England  - surely?

No 459

Finland, Helsinki, 3.6.92. England won 2-1

Woods  Stevens (Palmer)  Pearce  Keown  Walker  Wright M.           

Platt2   Steven (Daley)  Webb   Lineker*  Barnes J. (Merson)

Highlights: England's final warm-up match before the European championship finals in Sweden developed into a nightmare, with both John Barnes and Gary Stevens sustaining injuries that knocked them out of the tournament. Yet again England had to come from behind after Finland had taken a twenty-seventh lead from a harshly awarded penalty against Trevor Steven. Following a procession of missed chances, David Platt was on target seconds before half-time. It was Platt, recently signed by Juventus from Bari, who scored the winner in the sixty-second minute.

No 460

Denmark, Malmo, 11.6.92. Drew 0-0

Woods  Curle (Daley)  Pearce  Palmer  Walker  Keown

Steven   Platt  Smith  Lineker* Merson (Webb)

Highlights: England were hustled out of their stride by a Danish team surprised to find themselves in the finals following the barring of war-torn Yugoslavia. Concentrating on quick and incisive counter attacks, it was Denmark who looked most likely to break the deadlock and England had a lucky escape when a shot from John Jensen struck a post with goalkeeper Chris Woods beaten. The English defence missed the steadying influence of injured Mark Wright, but Carlton Palmer gave a good account of himself against a Danish side in which Brian Laudrup was outstanding as the orchestrator of their attacks. The Danes got better and better as the tournament wore on and finally emerged as the unexpected champions.

No 461

France, Malmo, 14.6.92. Drew 0-0

Woods   Stevens   Pearce   Palmer   Walker  Keown  

Batty  Platt  Shearer  Lineker*  Sinton

Highlights: A game that was eagerly awaited fizzled out into a tame draw, with both sides too cautious and frightened of defeat. A Stuart Pearce free-kick from thirty yards shook the French crossbar, and David Platt was inches wide with a diving header. There were few other England scoring chances of note. One of the features of a disappointing game was the struggle for supremacy between deadly French striker Papin and England defender Des Walker. Papin was hardly allowed a kick, but managed one moment of magic when his sudden shot was magnificently saved by Chris Woods. England were struggling to find the back of the net, and searching questions were being asked about Graham Taylor's tactics, which for the purists were too much about the crude long-ball game.

No 462

Sweden, Stockholm, 17.6.92. England lost 2-1

Woods  Batty  Pearce  Palmer   Walker  Keown         

Daley    Webb   Platt1  Lineker* (Smith)  Sinton (Merson)

Highlights: England's European championship challenge ended with a depressing defeat by Sweden, who were allowed back into the game after David Platt had scored an early goal. Tony Daley missed two opportunities to make the game safe before Sweden gradually took control following the half-time substitution of Anders Limpar by the veteran Johnny Ekstrom and a change of tactics that had England's defenders completely bewildered. Jan Eriksson headed an equaliser in the fifty-first minute, and as England struggled to contain the suddenly buoyant Swedes Graham Taylor made the controversial decision to call off skipper Gary Lineker for Alan Smith. Lineker had fired his final shots for England after eighty caps and still a goal short of Bobby Charlton's all-time record. England, needing a win to book a place in the semi-finals, were being exposed to the perils of panic, and it was the Swedes who  conjured the goal that mattered seven minutes from the end when the gifted Tomas Brolin exchanged passes with Dahlin before firing in the winner. The media roof now fell in on Graham Taylor, who was depicted on the back page of The Sun newspaper as a Turnip head – and ever since he has been haunted by the nickname. 'Taylor the Turnip.' In the weeks following England's exit stories emerged that revealed a huge split between Taylor and his skipper Lineker had been damaging the team spirit during the European championships.

No 463

Spain, Santander, 9.9.92. England lost 1-0

Woods  Dixon (Bardsley) (Palmer)  Pearce*  Ince  Walker   Wright M.           

White (Merson) Platt  Clough  Shearer  Sinton (Deane)

Highlights: England gave a disjointed and punchless performance against a slick Spanish team that deserved victory by a wider margin. It might have been a different story if David White, making his debut on the right side of the attack, had converted an early chance created for him by Nigel Clough. Des Walker and Mark Wright looked uncomfortable at the heart of the defence, and their indecision led to Spain's winning goal. This time The Sun portrayed Graham Taylor's head as a Spanish onion. It was all going to end in tears.

No 464

Norway, Wembley, 14.10.92. Drew 1-1

Woods  Dixon (Palmer)  Pearce*  Batty  Walker  Adams        

Platt1   Gascoigne  Wright I. (Merson)  Shearer Ince

Highlights: David Platt maintained the goal scoring form that had been one of the few bonuses for Graham Taylor as England produced a fighting performance against a vastly improved Norwegian team. Paul Gascoigne stood out on his return to the international stage, and it was his flair and imagination that brought the smile back to the face of English football. A major worry for Taylor was the shot-shy performance from Ian Wright, who was struggling to produce his club form at England level. Tony Adams brought stability to the England defence that was dented only by a surprise long-range shot that earned Norway a flattering draw in this World Cup qualifier.

No 465

Turkey, Wembley, 18.11.92. England won 4-0

Woods   Dixon   Pearce*1  Palmer  Walker  Adams    

Platt   Gascoigne2   Shearer1   Wright I.  Ince

Highlights: Paul Gascoigne monopolised this World Cup qualifying match with a spectacular solo show, scoring two of the goals and having a big influence in a third.  The outplayed Turks were lucky not to concede at least three more goals as Gascoigne's passes pulled their defence to shreds. Ian Wright combined well with Alan Shearer, and was unfortunate not to break his England goal-scoring duck. Des Walker marked his fiftieth international appearance with a faultless display. He was always a thought and a deed ahead of the Turkish forwards and he continually broke up their attempted counter attacks with his quick interceptions and timely tackles.

No 466

San Marino, Wembley, 17.2.93. England won 6-0

Woods    Dixon   Dorigo  Palmer1 Walker    Adams

Batty  Gascoigne  Platt*4  Ferdinand1  Barnes

Highlights: Four goals from David Platt lifted England to a satisfactory rather than stunning victory against a mediocre team of part-time professionals who came only to defend in this World Cup qualifier. Platt, an inspiring skipper in place of the injured Stuart Pearce, had the chance to equal the individual England five-goal record but his eighty-eighth minute penalty was superbly saved. Platt's goals came in the thirteenth, twenty-fourth, sixty-seventh and eighty-third minutes. Carlton Palmer scored with a diving header in the seventy-eighth minute and Les Ferdinand marked his international debut with England's sixth goal in the eighty-sixth minute. Paul Gascoigne was strangely subdued in midfield and John Barnes, recalled after a long injury-forced lay-off, had a personal nightmare with the frustrated England fans jeering and booing him almost every time he touched the ball. Much of the taunting from the crowd seemed racist in its content and would not be tolerated today.

No 467

Turkey, Izmir, 31.3.93. England won 2-0

Woods   Dixon (Clough)   Sinton  Palmer  Walker  Adams

Platt*1  Gascoigne1  Barnes  Wright (Sharpe)  Ince

Highlights: A sixth minute goal by David Platt, his tenth in ten internationals, put England on the road to a courage-carved victory in this rough and tough World Cup qualifying match in front of a hostile crowd. England’s players had to show tremendous character as the Turkish fans aimed coins, bottles and fireworks at them from the terraces. A looping header by Paul Gascoigne a minute before half-time gave England a commanding lead that they had to battle to protect against a Turkish team trying to score their first ever goal in eight meetings. Lee Dixon was brutally kicked out of the match, and Paul Ince switched from midfield to take his place at right-back to allow Nigel Clough into the game as a substitute. Tony Adams was a source of strength and inspiration in the middle of the England defence, and John Barnes regained his dignity with a battling performance. 

No 468

Holland, Wembley, 28.4.93. England drew 2-2

Woods  Dixon  Keown  Palmer  Walker  Adams

Platt*1  Gascoigne (Merson)  Barnes J.1  Ferdinand  Ince

Highlights: England squandered a two-goal lead after taking command of this World Cup qualifier with an impressive display of football matching anything previously produced under Graham Taylor. John Barnes scored with a ferocious first-minute free-kick, and David Platt added number two in he twenty-fourth minute. Holland struck back ten minutes later with a glorious goal by Dennis Bergkamp, who threatened to break the net with a magnificent volley. England were not so effective after the departure of the injured Paul Gascoigne, and Walker clumsily conceded a penalty in the eighty-fifth minute when he tugged the shirt of Dutch dangerman Marc Overmars. Van Vossen slotted home the spot-kick to rob England of a precious point. Suddenly England's World Cup life was looking in danger.

No 469

Poland, Katowice, 29.5.93. England drew 1-1

Woods  Bardsley  Dorigo  Palmer (Wright1)  Walker  Adams

Platt*  Gascoigne (Clough)  Sheringham  Barnes  Ince

Highlights: England trailed to a thirty-fourth minute goal following a careless mix-up between Des Walker and John Barnes. Substitute Ian Wright scored his first goal for England in nine appearances in the eighty-fourth minute to salvage a World Cup point that was desperately needed. There was new subtlety in the England attack with the introduction of Tottenham's gifted forward Teddy Sheringham. 'It is now vital that we also get at least a point in Norway next week,' said Graham Taylor. 'Our destiny is in our own hands, and if we play to out full potential there is no doubt at all that we can qualify for the finals.'

No 470

Norway, Oslo, 2.6.93. England lost 2-0

Woods  Dixon  Pallister  Palmer  Walker (Clough)  Adams

Platt*  Gascoigne  Ferdinand  Sheringham (Wright)  Sharpe

Highlights: Graham Taylor gambled on playing with three central defenders at the back, but the players were clearly uncomfortable with the new tactics. Des Walker was caught napping when Norway took a forty-third minute lead through Leonhardsen, the Norwegian scoring a scrappy goal as Walker stood still disputing a refereeing decision. Eight minutes after half-time Walker - one of the quickest defenders in the English game - was outpaced before Bohinen beat goalkeeper Chris Woods at his near post to seal a humiliating World Cup qualifying match defeat. Graham Taylor came in for some savage criticism, particularly for introducing new, untried tactics in such a crucial game. England now had to win all three of their remaining qualifying matches to stand even an outside chance of going to the United States for the finals. Perhaps the upcoming friendly trip to the USA would help lift morale? Don't bet on it.

No 471

USA, Boston, 9.6.93. England lost 2-0

Woods  Dixon  Dorigo  Pallister  Palmer (Walker)  Batty

Ince*  Clough  Ferdinand (Wright)  Barnes  Sharpe

Highlights: England started their three-match 'US 93' tournament with a degrading 2-0 defeat by the United States. The game was played almost forty-three years to the day that England suffered their humiliating 1-0 defeat by the United States in the 1950 World Cup finals. This was almost as bad, and particularly hard to stomach for Paul Ince who became the first black player to captain England. The Americans, including British-based players John Harkes of Sheffield Wednesday and Roy Wegerle of Coventry,  played with a composure and authority that surprised an England team still shell shocked by the defeat in Norway. Thomas Dooley, who played in Europe with Kaiserlautern, gave the United States a deserved lead two minutes before half-time. Dooley limped off after a reckless second-half tackle by Ince. Alexi Lalas, the red haired, guitar-strumming Mr Personality of the USA squad, came on as substitute, and within four minutes scored the second goal that knocked the heart out of a jaded England side.

No 472

Brazil, Washington, 13.6.93. England drew 1-1

Flowers  Barrett  Dorigo  Pallister  Walker  Batty (Platt1)

Sinton  Ince* (Palmer)  Clough  Wright  Sharpe

Highlights: England regained some dignity with a draw against Brazil thanks to a headed goal by David Platt, who scored with his first touch after coming on as a half-time substitute for David Batty. Tim Flowers made an exceptional debut in the England goal, making a series of superb saves. He stopped at least three certain goals before Brazil forced an equalizer in the seventy-sixth minute when Santos scored from close range after England had failed to clear a corner. The game attracted 54,000 spectators to the Robert Kennedy Stadium in Washington, a sign that the 1994 World Cup finals would pull in the crowds.

No 473

Germany. Detroit, 19.6.93. England lost 2-1

Martyn  Barrett  Sinton  Pallister (Keown)  Walker

Platt*1  Ince  Clough (Wright)  Barnes  Sharpe (Winterburn)  Merson

Highlights: England finished the tournament in bottom place after losing 2-1 to world champions Germany in a match played indoors on grass. David Platt again scored England's goal, his twelfth in fourteen games and his twentieth for England in total. It was England's sixth match without a win, their worst run for twelve years. Effenberg gave the Germans the lead in the twenty-sixth minute immediately after Platt had shaved the bar with a header. Platt equalized late in the first-half when he got himself perfectly positioned to steer in a Paul Ince cross. The Germans clinched victory and the tournament trophy when Jurgen Klinsmann tapped the loose ball home in the fifty-fourth minute after Nigel Martyn had done well to parry a scorching shot from Hans Riedle. England came out of the match with credit because they had the German defence fully stretched for long periods, but Graham Taylor returned home knowing he was living on borrowed time. The press were merciless in their criticism of his tactics. 'I was made to feel like Public Enemy Number One,' he said later.

No 474

Poland, Wembley, 8.9.93 England won 3-0

Seaman  Jones  Pearce*1  Sharpe  Pallister  Adams 

Platt  Gascoigne1  Wright  Ferdinand1  Ince

Highlights: England, inspired by a fiery and fluent performance from Paul Gascoigne, were rarely stretched by a dispirited-looking Poland side in this World Cup qualifier. They were in command from the fifth minute when Les Ferdinand scored after receiving a perfectly flighted pass from David Platt. The goal settled England’s nerves and they dominated the match with an exciting, attacking display. Schemer Gascoigne turned scorer in the forty-ninth minute and four minutes later Stuart Pearce blasted in a well-worked free-kick from twenty-two yards. The only scar on the evening was a caution for Gascoigne that would keep him out of the next World Cup qualifier in Holland.

No 475

Holland, Rotterdam, 13.10.93 England lost 2-0

Seaman  Parker  Dorigo  Palmer (Sinton)  Adams  Pallister 

Platt*  Merson  (Wright) Shearer  Sharpe  Ince

Highlights: England’s World Cup hopes all but evaporated in controversial circumstances in Rotterdam. Early in the second-half of an even game, Dutch defender Ronald Koeman was lucky to escape with only a booking when he cynically pulled down David Platt as the England captain was clear through on goal. The rules clearly state that a defender should be sent off for this type of professional foul. It was Koeman, the man who should have been in the dressing-room, who popped up at the other end of the pitch in the sixty-first minute to chip in a twice-taken free-kick to give Holland the lead. Six minutes later Dennis Bergkamp beat David Seaman with a low shot from outside the penalty area to wrap up the game and virtually end England's World Cup life ... and Graham Taylor's reign as England manager. In a fascinating fly-on-the-wall television documentary shown some months later we got a taste of the sort of pressure Taylor was under. He was filmed on the touchline almost having a nervous breakdown, using the f--- word more than thirty times, and giving a new catchphrase to the country, 'Do I not like that.'

No 476

San Marino, Bologna, 17.11.93 England won 7-1

Seaman  Dixon  Pearce*  Walker  Pallister Ince2 

Ripley  Platt  Wright4  Ferdinand1  Sinton

Highlights: Graham Taylor's final match as manager ended in farce and embarrassment as England conceded the quickest goal in their history to tiny San Marino. Part-timer Davide Gualtieri pounced on a Stuart Pearce back-pass to score after just nine seconds. Needing to win by seven clear goals to have any chance of qualifying for the World Cup finals, England never really recovered from this first-minute humiliation and a scrappy display was lifted only by Ian Wright's four-goal haul against woefully weak opposition. It all proved academic because Holland clinched the World Cup place with a victory in Poland. Taylor was in charge for 38 matches, of which 18 were won, 13 drawn and seven lost.  In retrospect it was easy to see that the Football Association were wrong to appoint Taylor and his righthand man Lawrie McMenemy. Neither kicked a ball in the (old) First Division let alone for England, and their first experience of the international game was when they took over the running of the England team.  Both are immensely likeable men with strong personalities, but they were handicapped by not having had even the tiniest taste of international football. It meant that both were learning as they went along from their first day in the job, and when things started to go wrong they struggled to get the respect of experienced players who were disdainful of their lack of playing achievements. Now, enter El Tel!

No 477

Denmark, Wembley, 9.3.94 England won 1-0

Seaman  Parker  Le Saux  Pallister  Adams  Ince (Batty)

Gascoigne (Le Tissier)  Anderton  Platt*1  Shearer  Beardsley

Highlights: The Terry Venables era began with an impressive home win against European champions Denmark, who played without passion or fire. England were bright and positive throughout the game and their passing and fluent movement was refreshing to see after some of the more direct and less subtle tactics used under Graham Taylor. David Platt neatly steered in the winning goal with his left foot after sixteen minutes following creative work from debutant Graeme Le Saux and fit-again Alan Shearer. England's other new cap, winger Darren Anderton, grew in stature throughout the game and was unlucky not to score when he had a clever chip cleared off the line. Peter Beardsley was in peerless form as he collected his fiftieth England cap after three wasted years in the international wilderness.

No 478

Greece, Wembley, 12.5.94. England won 5-0

Seaman (Flowers)    Jones     Le Saux     Ince (Wise)     Adams    Pallister     

Platt*2   Gascoigne (Le Tissier)    Shearer1   Beardsley1  Anderton1

Highlights: England outclassed a Greek team that had no answer to the pace and skill of an England attack in which Darren Anderton – always highly regarded by Terry Venables - was particularly impressive with his work out on the right wing which brought the bonus of his first international goal.  Paul Gascoigne was back to his cheeky best, and his fellow Geordie Peter Beardsley scored his first goal since his recall to the international stage. Platt played a captain's role and was rewarded for his effort with two goals, while Alan Shearer added to the Geordie victory parade by taking one of the four excellent chances that came his way.  

No 479

Norway, Wembley, 23.5.94. England drew 0-0

Seaman    Jones (Barton)    Le Saux  (Pearce)   Ince  Adams    Pallister     

Platt*   Gascoigne (Le Tissier)   Shearer   Beardsley   Anderton

Highlights: England had overwhelming possession yet could muster only a couple of half-chances against a Norwegian team packed with seven British-based players and plainly interested in strolling through the game ready for their trip to the United States for the Englandless World Cup finals. The nearest England came to scoring was when Alan Shearer, taking a free-kick quickly, surprised goalkeeper Thorstvedt, who pushed his shot against the post. From the rebound Platt thought he claimed the winner of this dour affair. But the referee ordered the free kick, from which England thought they had scored, to be retaken. England lacked the inventiveness and the guile to change the pace and shape of attacks against the massed Norwegain defence. Venables comforted himself afterwards with the assertion that his three games to date had been invaluable, 'We have got a spirit going, and we are getting a shape to the team,' he said. 'It is a beginning.'

No 480

USA, Wembley, 7.9.94. England won 2-0

Seaman     Jones    Le Saux    Pallister    Adams   Anderton     

Venison   Platt*  Barnes   Shearer2  (Ferdinand)   Sheringham (Wright)

Highlights: England worked at trying to perfect their much-vaunted Christmas Tree formation introduced amid huge media interest by Terry Venables. But there was nothing to suggest it made them any more potent against an uninspired United States team unable to find the form that had brought them huge support in the World Cup finals. One of the few encouraging things was the powerhouse performance of two-goal Alan Shearer, who was always too much of a handful for the overworked American defence. Barry Venison made a satisfactory debut in the first of his two England appearances.

No 481

Romania, Wembley, 10.12.94. England drew 1-1

Seaman   Jones (Pearce)   Le Saux   Adams*   Pallister    Lee1 (Wise)      

Ince   Barnes   Le Tissier  Shearer  Wright (Sheringham)   

Highlights: A debut goal from Newcastle midfielder Robert Lee gave England a draw they hardly deserved against a Romanian team that continued in the bright fashion that made them one of the outstanding sides in World Cup 94. England could not match the procession of precise passes with which the Romanians dictated and decorated the game, and it might well have been the first defeat of the Terry Venables reign had they been more positive in the penalty area. Matthew Le Tissier, the idol of Southampton, was given a full ninety minutes for a change but was still unable to produce his electric club form.

No 482

Nigeria, Wembley, 16.11.94. England won 1-0

Flowers  Jones   Le Saux    Howey   Ruddock    Wise     

Lee (McManaman)   Platt*1  Barnes  Shearer (Sheringham) Beardsley (Le Tissier)  

Highlights: Nigeria provided more evidence that African football was fast catching up – overtaking even – the rest of the world, and England were very fortunate to win a full-blooded encounter. A well-taken goal by captain David Platt separated the two teams at the end, but it could so easily have been a 3-1 victory to Nigeria but for some desperate defending. The experimental partnership of Neil Ruddock and Stephen Howey did little to boost confidence at the back, and goalkeeper Tim Flowers was often less than certain as to when to come off his line because of a lack of understanding with the central defenders. Terry Venables sent on Steve McManaman, Teddy Sheringham and Matthew Le Tissier in a bid to increase the skill input, but it was the Nigerians who continued to exhibit the better ball control.

No 483

Republic of Ireland, Dublin, 15.2.95. Match abandoned after 27 minutes

Seaman   Barton  Le Saux  Adams  Pallister   Anderton 

Platt*  Ince   Le Tissier   Beardsley  Shearer

Highlights: A David Kelly goal had put the Republic a goal in front when the notorious hooligan element among England's supporters started a riot that was such a danger to the peaceful majority that the referee was forced to abandon the game after twenty-seven minutes.   This was the first away match of the Terry Venables reign, and he joined in the chorus of criticism of the behaviour of a small, but spiteful minority of fans who were dragging the name of English football into the gutter. All the players were awarded caps for the unfinished match, but the final scoreline did not go into the record books

No 484

Uruguay, Wembley, 29.3.95. England drew 0-0

Flowers   Jones   Le Saux (McManaman)   Adams   Pallister   Venison      

Anderton   Platt*   Barnes   Beardsley (Barmby)   Sheringham (Cole)

Highlights: Not for the first (or last time) a Uruguayan team came to Wembley with only defence in mind. The crowd jeered an unimaginative performance by England, who had neither the will nor the way to break through the mass of defenders double parked on them, with just two players left upfield to give England the occasional headache with quick counter attacks. Nick Barmby and Andy Cole came on for their first international action as second-half substitutes, but they could do nothing to break down the effective Uruguayan defence that throttled all life out of a best-forgotten game.

No 485

Japan, Wembley, 3.6.95. England won 2-1

Flowers   Neville  Pearce Scales  Unsworth   Anderton1      

Batty (Gascoigne)  Platt*1 Beardsley (McManaman)  Shearer  Collymore (Sheringham)

Highlights: Yet another contrived summer tournament  - The Umbro Cup - kicked off with England taking on Japan for the first time. Once again the Terry Venables luck was in, with most neutral observers considering England greatly flattered by their 2-1 victory.  Darren Anderton and skipper David Platt scored the goals that won the match for England against a Japanese team that played with enormous enthusiasm and well-developed skill. It was only in the air that England were vastly superior, but they were unable to cash in on this advantage. Gary Neville made a sound debut at right-back, while John Scales and David Unsworth played together for the only time at international level.   

No 486

Sweden, Elland Road, 8.6.95 England drew 3-3

Flowers   Barton   Le Saux   Pallister (Scales)   Cooper   Barnes (Gascoigne)     

Platt*1  Anderton1   Beardsley (Barmby)   Shearer   Sheringham1

Highlights: Sweden, fresh from finishing third in World Cup 94, were 3-1 clear and coasting when stunned by two goals in the last two minutes by David Platt and Darren Anderton. England's first goal in front of an enthusiastic Elland Road crowd was scored by Teddy Sheringham, the first of his international career. The Houdini-style escape  by England saved the unbeaten record of Terry Venables, who seemed to be a manager blessed with luck. It was the first time England had conceded three goals at Wembley since West Germany beat Sir Alf Ramsey's team 3-1 in a 1972 European championship qualifying tie.

No 487

Brazil, Wembley, 11.6.95 England lost 3-1

Flowers  Neville  Pearce  Scales (Barton)  Cooper Anderton      

Batty (Gascoigne)  Platt*  Le Saux1   Shearer   Sheringham (Collymore)

Highlights: How ironic that the best performance to date by England under the Terry Venables banner coincided with the first defeat for the man dubbed 'El Tel' because of his experiences as manager of Barcelona. England were outstanding in the first-half, and at the peak of their power took the lead against the world champions when Graeme Le Saux scored with a crashing volley. Brazil pressed the accelerator in the second-half and in a purple patch scored three goals that left the England defenders breathless from chasing shadows.  But for an hour England had more than held their own against the best team in the world, and Venables took hope from the performance that he could make a proper challenge for the European championship when it was staged in England a year later.

No 488

Colombia, Wembley, 6.9.95. England drew 0-0

Seaman   Neville   Le Saux    Howey  Adams*  Wise     

Redknapp (Lee)  Gascoigne (Barnes)   Shearer (Sheringham)  McManaman   Barmby  

Highlights: This goalless and otherwise uneventful game will always be remembered for one of the most fantastic saves ever witnessed at Wembley. Jamie Redknapp fired in a snap shot, and everybody in the stadium looked on open mouthed as Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuta performed a double overhead kick clearance. It became known as the Scorpion Save, and has featured in just about every video of off-beat football moments that have been produced since the game. England were the better team but could not translate their territorial advantage into goals.

No 489

Norway, Oslo, 11.10.95. England drew 0-0

Seaman   Neville   Adams*  Pallister  Pearce  Wise (Stone)     

Redknapp   Lee  Barmby (Sheringham)   McManaman   Shearer

Highlights: This was a carbon copy of the goalless draw that had bored the Wembley spectators to bits in the third match of the Terry Venables reign. England's failure to find the net for a second successive match was a major worry for England in general and for Alan Shearer in particular. The player who could not stop scoring at club level had now gone eight international matches without putting the ball into the net. The good news for Venables is that his defence looked strong and stable, with Tony Adams and Gary Pallister forming a steady partnership at the heart of the defence. Nottingham Forest's Steve Stone came on as a second half substitute to gain the first of eight caps in a game that was forgotten almost as soon as the final whistle sounded.

No 490

Switzerland, Wembley, 15.11.95. England won 3-1

Seaman    Neville   Adams*    Pallister    Pearce1   Gascoigne     

Redknapp (Stone1)  Lee   Sheringham1   Shearer   McManaman

Highlights: The pulsating performance that Terry Venables had been promising came at last against a very useful Swiss team that had qualified for the Euro 96 championships. Not panicked by going a goal down, England started to put together the sort of passing movements that were at the foundation of the Venables playing philosophy. He had been a master passer in his playing career, and has always liked his teams to make the ball do the talking. England had to overcome the handicap of losing Jamie Redknapp with an injury after only six minutes, and substitute Steve Stone brought tremendous enthusiasm and energy to the right wing. Stuart Pearce wiped out the Swiss lead with a scorching shot from 30 yards. England took complete control in the second-half and their enterprise was rewarded with goals from Sheringham and Stone. It was being whispered, but had Venables actually started to put together a team that could win the European championship?

No 491

Portugal, Wembley, 12.12.95. England drew 1-1

Seaman  Neville  Pearce (Le Saux)   Adams*    Howey   Gascoigne     

Stone1   Wise (Southgate)    Barmby (McManaman)   Shearer   Ferdinand (Beardsley)

Highlights: Portugal opened with style and grace, and England were often stretched close to breaking point. But this Terry Venables team had character, and they withstood an early avalanche without conceding a goal and started to hit back with thrusting football of their own. Steve Stone, this time starting the game, was again outstanding and gave England the lead with a magnificent shot from twenty yards moments before half-time. Portugal equalized early in a splendid second-half, with both teams producing football of the highest quality. England almost snatched victory when substitute Gareth Southgate marked his debut by heading against the crossbar. 'We got a taste of what Euro 96 is going to be like,' said Terry Venables. 'I can't wait.'

No 492

Bulgaria, Wembley, 27.3.96. England won 1-0

Seaman   Neville   Howey   Southgate   Pearce*   Stone     

Ince   Gascoigne (Platt)   McManaman   Sheringham (Lee)  Ferdinand1 (Fowler)

Highlights: Les Ferdinand announced his return to the England attack with an early goal as Bulgaria were pushed back under a storm of attacks. There was a swagger about England, and they should have been at least three goals clear by half-time. Then, as if wanting to prove that football really is a game of two halves, they lost their drive and direction in the second-half and allowed the Bulgarians back into the game. In the last minute, a groan went round Wembley when Bulgaria forced the ball into the net but as their players celebrated what they thought was an equalizer the referee was explaining that he had spotted a handball and disallowed the goal. 'The football we played in the first forty-five minutes is the sort of standard we must set ourselves for the European championships,' said Terry Venables, who preferred not to talk about the second-half.

No 493

Croatia, Wembley, 24.4.96. England drew 0-0

Seaman   Neville   Wright   Pearce   Platt*   Ince    

Stone  McManaman   Gascoigne  Fowler  Sheringham

Highlights: Croatia came to contain rather than conquer, and frustrated England with defensive tactics that completely spoiled the game as a spectacle. England would have won comfortably but for five squandered chances, with the lively Robbie Fowler the biggest offender.  The statistics speak for themselves: England had 13 attempts on goal to just four by Croatia. Terry Venables experimented with three rather than four defenders in the back line, Mark Wright flanked by Gary Neville and Stuart Pearce. It worked to a degree, but the Croatians - beautifully composed on the ball – did not give the system a proper test because of their negative approach. England very nearly got the win they deserved ten minutes from the end when Steve McManaman drilled the ball against a post.

No 494

Hungary, Wembley, 18.5.96. England won 3-0

Seaman (Walker)  Neville  Pearce  Wright (Southgate) Ince (Campbell)

Platt*1 (Wise)    Lee Anderton 2  Wilcox  Sheringham  Ferdinand (Shearer)

Highlights: Tottenham team-mates Ian Walker and Sol Campbell came on as substitutes for their first international appearances in England's last home game before the European championships. Another Tottenham player, Darren Anderton, scored two on his return to the team and skipper David Platt maintained his remarkable goal scoring record with the third goal against a Hungarian side that was never allowed to get into its stride.

No 495

China, Beijing, 23.5.96. England won 3-0

Flowers (Walker)   G.Neville    P.Neville   Adams* (Ehiogu)   Southgate  Redknapp     

Anderton  McManaman (Stone)   Gascoigne1  Barmby2 (Beardsley)  Shearer (Fowler)

Highlights: The Neville brothers became the first siblings to represent England since the Charltons, and there was also a debut cap for Aston Villa's Ugo Ehiogu in this first international against China. The Far East tour was designed as a gentle warm-up tour before the high pressure of the European championship finals at home. England won in a canter to chalk up their first back to back wins since Terry Venables took over the managerial reins. Two goals from Nick Barmby and a third from Paul Gascoigne clinched victory that was even easier than the scoreline suggests.

No 496

Hong Kong XI, Hong Kong, 26.5.96. England won 1-0

Seaman    P.Neville    Adams   Howey (Campbell)    Pearce   Stone (Anderton)    

Ince    Platt*    McManaman (Wilcox)     Ferdinand1 (Shearer)   Sheringham (Fowler)

Highlights: Thankfully, the Football Association refused to award caps for this game against a team that would struggle to survive in the English Third Division. It would have been quickly kicked into the dustbin of history but for the after-match antics of a group of the England players, who were pictured getting legless while playing drinking games in a Hong Kong club. This included players having drinks poured down their throats while lying in a pseudo dentist's chair. They then caused a disturbance on the flight home, and the tabloids really went to town on them. It was alleged that Paul Gascoigne was at the centre of the drinking spree, underlining what Graham Taylor had claimed during his England management - that Gazza too often needed to be fuelled by alcohol. The drinking culture was - and remains - a huge problem with too many English footballers.  So the Terry Venables team went into the European championships under a cloud of controversy.

No 497

Switzerland, Wembley, 8.6.96. England drew 1-1

Seaman   G.Neville    Pearce  Adams*    Southgate   Anderton     

Ince   McManaman (Stone)   Shearer1  Gascoigne (Platt)   Sheringham (Barmby)  

Highlights: Alan Shearer scored his first goal at international level for over two years to give England an encouraging send-off to Euro 96, but the pressure then seemed to get to the players and they finally finished up happy to escape with a draw against a well disciplined Swiss side. The Shearer goal – his first in fourteen England matches – came midway through the first-half. The two Pauls, Gascoigne and Ince, combined to put Shearer clear and he hammered the ball in off the near post to end his famine at the most opportune time. Terry Venables sent on Nick Barmby, David Platt and Steve Stone in place of Teddy Sheringham, Steve McManaman and Gascoigne in the seventieth minute as England started to lose the midfield battle. The goal Switzerland had been threatening throughout the second-half came from a penalty eight minutes from the end following a disputed handball by Stuart Pearce. It could have been worse. Only a magnificent save by David Seaman in the closing moments prevented Switzerland from snatching a winner. 'We were dead on our feet in the second-half,' said Venables. 'We know we must improve of this, and out next game against Scotland is going to be absolutely vital.'

No 498

Scotland, Wembley, 15.6.96. England won 2-0

Seaman  G.Neville  Adams*  Southgate  Pearce (Redknapp) (Campbell) Anderton     

Ince (Stone)   McManaman   Shearer1  Gascoigne1  Sheringham  

Highlights: This was the first England-Scotland encounter for seven years, and the first time they had met in the finals of a major competition. After a scrappy, nervous first-half, England stepped up a gear and a peak-form Alan Shearer scored his second goal of the tournament with a superb header from a Gary Neville cross in the fifty-second minute. There was a dramatic, unforgettable sequence of play eleven minutes from the end that captured just why soccer is such a magnetic game. David Seaman saved magnificently from a Gary McAllister penalty, and moments later the ball was at the other end of the field where Paul Gascoigne conjured a gem of a goal. He looped the ball over the head of  Colin Hendry and then hammered it on the volley deep into the Scottish net. He celebrated by going to a chosen spot at the side of the Scottish goal, and as he lay down England team-mates poured bottled water down his throat in a send-up of the dentist's chair incident. The crowd loved it, and suddenly the England players were forgiven their boisterous behaviour in Hong Kong.  Buoyant England now needed just a point against Holland to clinch a place in the quarter-finals.

No 499

Holland, Wembley, 18.6.96. England won 4-1

Seaman   G.Neville   Adams*   Southgate   Pearce   Anderton     

Ince (Platt)  McManaman   Gascoigne   Shearer2 (Barmby) Sheringham2 (Fowler)  

Highlights: England produced one of their greatest ever team performances, pulverizing Holland in the process and booking their place in the Euro 96 quarter-finals. The Dutchmen were played off the park, with Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham each scoring twice, Holland only made sure of qualification by scoring a late goal which meant an exit for unlucky Scotland. England could have been three goals clear before Shearer netted goal number one from the penalty spot. Terry Venables looked on proudly - perhaps close to disbelief - as England touched absolute perfection in the second-half. Sheringham headed a corner kick high into the net in the fifty-first minute, and six minutes later Steve McManaman and Paul Gascoigne combined to find Sheringham, who unselfishly pushed the ball into the path of Shearer, who threatened to break the net with a shot that brought his fourth goal in three games. The fourth goal followed when van der Sar failed to hold a fizzing shot from Anderton. Sheringham moved quickly to force the loose ball into the net to make it an unbelievable 4-0. 'As good as it gets,' said a jubilant Terry Venables. 'But that's only the first part of our job completed. Spain will be tough to beat in the quarter-finals.'

No 500

Spain, Wembley, 22.6.96 England won 4-2 (on pens) (0-0 aet)

Seaman   G.Neville    Adams*    Southgate    Pearce     Anderton (Fowler)     

Platt  McManaman (Barmby)  Shearer Gascoigne   Sheringham (Stone)  

Highlights: After the raw excitement of the game against Scotland and the stunning skill showed against Holland, this Euro 96 quarter-final fell flat. Only some excellent saves by David Seaman stopped Spain winning in normal time, and he was again in almost unbeatable form when the match went to penalties. Alan Shearer, David Platt, Stuart Pearce, and Paul Gascoigne found the net to give England a 4-2 victory in the cruel form of football's Russian roulette. It was a personal triumph for man-of-character Pearce, who brought the crowd to their feet with his flourished fist salute after he scored from the spot to wipe out the memory of his miss in the 1990 World Cup semi-finals. For Spain, this was their first defeat in the twenty matches they had played since the 1994 World Cup. What a sad way for them to go out. To try to get round the spate of penalty shoot-outs that were deciding major matches, UEFA introduced a 'Golden Goal' sudden-death system. The first team to score in extra-time would be the winners. But still two quarter-finals went to shoot-outs, including this victory by England over Spain.

No 501

Germany, Wembley, 26.6.96. England lost 6-5 on pens after 1-1 aet

Seaman   Adams*   Southgate  Pearce   Anderton  Platt     

Ince   McManaman   Gascoigne   Shearer1  Sheringham   

Highlights: The old enemy Germany - not just West, but Deutschland alles - were waiting for England in the semi-final. As if in an action replay of their 1990 World Cup encounter the game was decided by penalties after a 1-1 draw (Alan Shearer scored his fifth goal of the tournament after three minutes, a goal cancelled out by Kuntz after sixteen minutes). This time it was Gareth Southgate who missed from the spot to leave the Germans as 5-4 winners. Terry Venables had been unable to agree a new contract with the FA, and was allowed to stand down immediately after the tournament to be replaced by another former Tottenham favourite, Glenn Hoddle. Venables said at the close of his England adventure (11 wins, 11 draws and only one defeat): 'I am disappointed with the way it ended because there is nothing more heart-breaking than to go out on penalties in a semi-final. It’s like getting ready to sit down at a wonderful banquet when somebody takes the chair away from under you. But I am immensely proud of the players, and they can go away with heads high. The performances against Scotland and, in particular, Holland provided exactly the football we had planned, and we gave as good as we got against Germany until the lottery of the shoot-out.  I have thoroughly enjoyed being in charge of the team, and in different circumstances it would have been nice to carry on. But that’s not to be. I now hand over to Glenn, and I wish him the best of luck. He has some smashing players to work with.'

____________________

CG