Canary living in Germany looks forward to England clash

Paul Standley with a German Canaries flag as Norwich City took on Schalke during their pre-season to

Paul Standley with a German Canaries flag as Norwich City took on Schalke during their pre-season tour of Germany last year Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

As England fans get set to cheer on the Three Lions against one of the nation's big footballing rivalries, on the other side anticipation is not quite so intense.

This is the view of Norwich City fan Paul Standley, who is preparing to take in the action from rival territory. 

Since the late 1980s, Mr Standley, from Wymondham, has lived in Germany and still harbours heartbreaking memories of watching England go out on penalties in 1990 and 1996.

This side of the Channel supporters are eagerly anticipating the last 16 tie, with flags of St George flying in windows and cars around the country. 

But as the two footballing giants prepare to meet once more, Mr Standley, who lives just outside Cologne, said the build-up was a lot more subdued.

He said: "I think perhaps people in Germany do not see the rivalry as being as intense as people in England do. They do all still talk about 1966 and whether the ball was over the line though, which they all swear it was not.

"But I think they see the Netherlands as more of a close rival than England so the build-up has not been as intense."

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He added that he felt German supporters were starting to lose confidence in World Cup-winning manager Joachim Low, who is leading the team into his last tournament.

He said: "It's been a bit subdued really. A few years ago you would see flags everywhere, but there hasn't been as much of that this time.

"People are still watching games in pubs, but there aren't large scale events and I think a combination of coronavirus and a few poor results over the last few years have perhaps taken a bit of the sting out of the thing.

"I think it will be a tight game, but I'm predicting a 2-1 England win - and I would love Jadon Sancho to come on and get a goal."

Meanwhile, Mr Standley, who is a member of the German Canaries supporters' group, said City's German contingent had seen interest in Daniel Farke's side grow and grow.

He said: "There's certainly been a lot more coverage of Norwich these past four years or so, since Daniel Farke arrived."