Alex Adams - Brand and Marketing Consultant
Last week – I wrote ameans they could actually *whisper it quietly* win… our quarter final match. Or for those who dare to dream, even win the whole thing.
Although very different results, there are some big – and dare I say promising – parallels between the Panama victory and the Colombia victory when it comes to England’s Self-belief. From the confidence to play out from the back regardless of the situation, to Harry Kane’s once more unshakeable belief in his own penalty taking abilities.
You could rehash the previous blog to fit perfectly with the game on Tuesday, from England’s belief that they would win no matter what, despite conceding a 90th minute equaliser, to the squad’s confidence in their penalty taking mantra, and being able to ‘own the moment.’
Yet, the strength I really want to talk about is not a team strength, but rather that of Eric Dier and his unbelievable display of a strength in Centred.
“You have an inner composure and self-assurance, whatever the situation.”
After Southgate’s penalty miss in ’96, he wanted to make sure that his England team were more prepared than he was. The squad underwent psychometric testing to find out who would be the best to take a penalty in a shoot-out.
Now, it may seem strange that I want to focus on Eric Dier’s strength in Centred when perhaps the more obvious candidate would’ve been Marcus Rashford – taking a phenomenal penalty in a World Cup shoot-out at the age of just 20.
Or perhaps even Kieran Trippier, who hadn’t taken a professional penalty before, but dispatched it with such confidence that it made Kane’s look a bit dodgy. But, what was so impressive about Eric Dier, was his composure and self-assurance, is that he wasn’t supposed to take the penalty.
Jamie Vardy was the man down to take the 5th penalty, but in extra-time he tweaked his groin so didn’t feel he should take it. So, up steps the man who has missed penalties in the past, as well as missing a free header about 20 minutes earlier.
Going back to our definition of Centred for a second, and in particular, “whatever the situation.” I’m not sure there are too many other situations in the world that would test your composure as much as this – but he stepped up, with the hope of a nation on his shoulders, and showed us all just how Centred he was.