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Gareth Southgate's Waistcoat's guide to the Euro 2020 semi-final tonight

As told by Stitchface McKenzie, words transcribed by News Elephant’s Norman Smee as Stitchface can’t hold a pen very well.

“Hello everybody!

I’m Gareth Southgate’s Waistcoat, Stitchface McKenzie. You might remember me from such other semi-finals as ‘the one against Croatia last World Cup’ and, well, actually that’s it.

As many of you fans will already know, sadly I haven’t quite made it out of Gareth’s wardrobe much this summer. I’m pretty much just waiting at home for a last minute emergency call up, a bit like Trent Alexander Arnold. In fact I saw him the other day – he didn’t look best pleased, but then no one ever does in the Post Office parcel collection point.

But just because I haven’t been part of the sartorial setup this tournament, with Gareth going all ‘continental’ with his suit pairings sans moi, I am of course nonetheless rooting for the boys 110%, as we say in football. And like most of you I expect, I’m super excited about tonight, and will be watching with a keen interest! 

However, despite how well they’ve played so far, this is still England we’re talking about, so things could pop a button at any minute, like a cheap suit from Topman. So here’s my top 5 tips for enjoying the match as an England fan!

 

1.Knock back a few cans. Not only will you need the added steel if we have to endure another penalty shootout, but it’ll also stop you chewing on your fingernails quite so much when that pesky Dolberg bears down on our goal once again, no doubt primed for another one of his famed non-celebrations.

2. Don’t forget to keep an ear out for any England ‘fans’ booing our boys when they take a knee. This will quickly help identify any twats who have infiltrated your living room, so you can despatch them sharpish before they get anywhere near your Doritos.

3. Get your order in for the takeaway super early, before that awful Karl Pilkington/Deliveroo ad comes on, you know the one, with so many terrible half-rhymes it makes Mark Wahlberg look like a competent rapper.

4. Have all your excuses primed in case of emergencies. Hot favourites are the ‘ITV curse’, and the fact you’ve always said since day one the ‘double pivot’ was too defensive, and it doesn’t allow our excellent forward players to be creative enough up front.

5. Likewise, in the f*kin miracle, ridiculous, inconceivable dream scenario that we ACTUALLY MAKE A FINAL FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1966 don’t forget, in between wiping tears of joy, to praise Gareth Southgate as a tactical genius, for his calming attitude and sensible deployment of the double pivot which paved the way for a masterful dominance of the midfield and ultimately won us the game.

 

That’s it! Go Eng-er-land! If we win, I’ll hopefully see you at Wembley, as a special occasion late-call up.

If not, well, I expect Gareth will be having a cry in the wardrobe with me tonight, and hopefully I’ll be back on again before too long.”