Gary Lineker calls for 'ban' as England beat Serbia in Euro 2024 opener

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker has jokingly enforced a ban on Micah Richards and other BBC pundits as England beat Serbia at Euro 2024

BBC
Jack Otway

By Jack Otway


Published: 17/06/2024

- 14:39

Updated: 17/06/2024

- 14:40

The Three Lions won 1-0 with Jude Bellingham scoring the only goal of the game

Gary Lineker has jokingly banned BBC pundits from saying the words 'it's coming home' prior to England's 1-0 win over Serbia on Sunday night.

The Three Lions are the favourites to win the European Championships this summer but, despite possessing A-listers in every department, struggled in their opening match of the competition.


England were able to get the job done, with Jude Bellingham heading home the winner in the 13th minute.

But Gareth Southgate's side will have to be far better if they're to finally end 58 years of hurt this summer.

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker has jokingly enforced a ban on Micah Richards and other BBC pundits as England beat Serbia at Euro 2024

BBC

Prior to the match, Micah Richards said: "I think (a warmer reception) comes with him being bold.

"Leaving (Jack) Grealish at home, leaving (Marcus) Rashford (out of the squad).

"We all would have had Grealish in our squad. Maybe fans were thinking ‘he’s a little bit safe’.

"That’s what I would say. But he has done a brilliant job, he really has.

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"Harmony in the squad has been brilliant, just now with this emerging talent, if we could just bring it home…"

But Lineker then interjected and jokingly told Richards, as well as Rio Ferdinand and Cesc Fabregas, that he was 'banning' the famous phrase.

"Here we go… that’s banned, that’s bad luck that thing… don’t say it," he quipped.

The iconic line from Baddiel and Skinner's anthem is often sung before, during and after England games.

Jude Bellingham England Serbia

Jude Bellingham scored the winner as England beat Serbia in their Euro 2024 clash on Sunday night

PA

But fans are unlikely to pay any attention to Lineker as they look to cheer the Three Lions on to victory this summer.

There are question marks over England after their first game and the unconvincing nature of their win, however.

While Bellingham was impressive, along with Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi, John Stones looked uncharacteristically ruffled.

Trent Alexander-Arnold produced a mixed performance in midfield, while Phil Foden and Harry Kane were virtually anonymous.

Foden has just enjoyed his best season to date for Manchester City, scoring 27 goals across all competitions as they won the Premier League title for the fourth year in a row.

A No 10 by trade, he seems somewhat shackled when playing on the wing.

And Richards sympathises for Foden, who is still expected to start for England when they face Denmark on Thursday (5pm).

'It makes me sad when I see a player of Phil Foden's quality in and out of games," he said.

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Phil Foden England Serbia

Phil Foden struggled for England in their Euro 2024 win over Serbia on Sunday night

PA

"At Manchester City it is all coordinated with Pep Guardiola and the system that they play, we need to find ways to get him involved.

"When he is coming from a wide position it is difficult for him, he goes from pressing out wide to coming back inside and he needs a full back to go and overlap so he can get those combinations going."

England go into the game against Denmark looking to make history.

The Three Lions have never won their first two Euro fixtures before and, back in 2021, beat Croatia before drawing to Scotland.

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