David James: It's time for England to embrace the moment
Saturday, 10 July 2021
David James predicts that England will win the EURO, although he expects Italy to make them play to their full potential.
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The whole day was perfect on Wednesday. I was sat next to Dave Seaman during the game and I said to him that the way the fans were singing reminded me of the 90s. The singing from one end of Wembley to the other was like a choir of 60,000 people. It was phenomenal. I sit there as an England fan now and I can just enjoy the atmosphere.
A lot of people had questioned what England would be like once they conceded a goal. On Wednesday they got better. The response was so positive.
Pressure is subjective. At certain times, certain players will feel the pressure when they think about the enormity of it, but on the flip side you can embrace the fact we're in a European Championship final. They've got an opportunity to do something they could only have dreamed of when they started playing.
I haven't seen any pressure in any of their performances so far. Wednesday was the biggest game of their lives, and still I didn't see any sign of it.
The players should enjoy it on Sunday. They're in an environment which allows them to look at it as another game which enables them to do what they set out to do – win the European Championship. I don't think the pressure will be negative, it's an opportunity to embrace the moment.
You don't want to go out there and make a mistake early on. Control the game and take your opportunities. England have controlled the majority of their games all tournament. Tactics are good on paper, but to paraphrase Mike Tyson: "You can have a game plan but that goes out the window when you get punched in the face."
I've followed Gianluigi Donnarumma for a few years now. He's been through phases, but he's a massive figure with loads of talent. Italy have this knack of bringing through very young goalkeepers who go on to be the best in the world. He's got such presence, and Italy have him to thank for being in the final – not just for the penalty saves. He's only 22 but he's got so much experience and carries himself so well.
I'll go with my heart for Sunday. England will have to dig deep, but they have it in them. You'll see the passion and the desire of this England team to finish the job. I think we're going to see every quality of this England team, because Italy will force them to show that. England victory – I don't care how.