England's manager, Gareth Southgate, has guided his team to their third semifinal in four major tournaments. However, as they prepare for the Euro 2024 semifinal against the Netherlands on Wednesday, criticism of the Three Lions' style of play is intensifying. If England manages to end their 58-year drought and win a major trophy in Berlin on Sunday, fans might overlook the team's perceived lack of excitement. Yet, the inability of their attacking stars to captivate audiences across Europe remains a concern. Southgate's squad managed only five shots on target in 240 minutes of play against Switzerland and Slovakia, relying on penalties and extra time to advance. Former England striker Alan Shearer described the team as "rotten" after their struggle against Slovakia, and French Euro 2000 winner Emmanuel Petit joined the chorus of fans and media labeling England's play as "boring".

Responding to a German reporter's comment that his team was "not easy on the eye", Southgate offered various explanations. "I'm sorry for that, but our aim is always to play well with the ball – in football, you have an opponent trying to stop you," he said following the win over Switzerland. He highlighted the pressure of national events and the challenges posed by defensive formations used by their opponents. Additionally, he cited the condition of the pitches in Germany as a hindrance to his players' performance. Despite these challenges, Southgate emphasized that England has reached a third semifinal in four tournaments.

Having reached the 2018 World Cup semifinals and the Euro 2020 final, England entered this tournament as one of the favorites alongside France. They now face a Dutch team that has scored nearly double the number of goals despite playing less time. With players like Cody Gakpo and Wout Weghorst, the Netherlands presents a formidable challenge with a variety of attacking options. One point of criticism among England fans is Southgate's reluctance to make changes. Players like Cole Palmer and Ollie Watkins, who could offer fresh dynamics, have not seen significant playing time. Despite some standout moments, key players like Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden have appeared fatigued.

Southgate made tactical adjustments only after falling behind against Switzerland, with Bukayo Saka's long-range strike leveling the match. There are concerns that, similar to the 2018 World Cup semifinal against Croatia, Southgate's reactive approach could cost England against stronger opponents. A convincing victory over the Netherlands, rather than relying on isolated moments of brilliance, could restore hope for a potential final. Fans expressed their frustration with a goalless draw against Slovenia by throwing cups at Southgate, but a win in Berlin on July 14 would undoubtedly earn forgiveness. "I don't think it's normal to have objects thrown at you," Southgate remarked, "but we will continue to grind, fight, and enjoy this journey." Despite the current lack of widespread enthusiasm.