While she says Gareth Southgate and his team may have appeared extremely nervous in tonight’s quarter-final against Sweden, she says it was clear that they were going to win.
The lads sailed through to the semi-finals after beating Sweden 2-0 in Russia as their WAGs and the world watched on.
But what does their body language reveal about the way they really felt during the game?
Here’s Judi’s analysis…
Calm, cool, stable, serene?
Gareth Southgate’s subtler body language signals suggest his ‘calm’ image is one big sham, but it’s a gloriously effective sham that should take us through to the World Cup finals.
Gareth’s bank manager styling with his signature waistcoat plus the way he stands on the touchline with his hands stuffed coolly into his suit trouser pockets might exude a really potent message of calm, measured thinking that is clearly affecting the play of his young team in the most positive way, but there are several body language clues that this veneer of laid-back behaviour is hiding some very high levels of anxious, wired-up energy that only explodes when the team win a goal.
Gareth’s give-away traits that suggest he’s like a coiled spring beneath the calm exterior include a constant eye-dart that only focuses into a steady stare when the game has started; a very rapid blink-rate that suggests high levels of adrenalin; an eye-narrowing then widening habit as he forces himself to focus on questions from the press plus a constant chewing of gum or lip-licking and lower-lip sucking ritual that hints at the kind of dry mouth that can be caused by high levels of performance pressure.
To his eternal credit the calm act he puts on for the games is having the best effect on his team. Both Harry Kane and Harry Maguire have picked up on his solid stoicism to provide the strength out on the pitch and with both those two players the no-fuss no-frills look appears authentic.
The strength of the team bonding is also visible. While the Swedes split up and bounced about before the anthems were sung Kane’s guys stood in one solid line, their arms linked and their eyes all focused on one invisible horizon, another clue of the power of Southgate’s charisma to produce like-minded motivational thinking in a group of young players.