Can this be England's first success at a major tournament since 1966? Credit: Pixabay, Dimitrisvetsikas1969.

Gareth Southgate’s team selection for England’s opening Euro 2020 game against Croatia was received with plenty of doubts and disapproval but was tactically a good move.

The win against Croatia was England’s first opening game victory in their tenth Euros competition – a disappointing record for England fans that is made up of five draws and 4 losses.

#Southgateout began trending on Twitter after early, unconfirmed reports were released of what the line-up would be – reports that were proved accurate.

England fans were unhappy with the team selection and took to Twitter to furiously demand the England manager to be sacked before a ball had even been kicked.

This is the price of the job for the England manager who is responsible for their country’s hopes at succeeding in a major tournament.

Southgate chose not to start the current people’s hero Jack Grealish, but to stick with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling who received man of the match for scoring the singular decisive goal in Sunday’s game.

Southgate created more controversy by starting natural right-back Kieran Trippier in the left-back position, instead of either in-form, natural left-backs Luke Shaw or Chelsea’s Champions League winner Ben Chilwell.

He trusted his instincts and started two defensive midfielders, West Ham’s Declan Rice and Leeds outstanding player Kalvin Phillips – an instinct that proved successful.

The England boss had to cut three players from the 26-man tournament squad due to UEFA’s matchday rules, Ben Chilwell and Borussia Dortmund starlet, Jadon Sancho were among those to be cut from the squad – as well as the inured center-back Harry Maguire.

England XI v Croatia: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Mings, Trippier; Rice, Phillips, Mount; Foden, Kane (c), Sterling

Substitutes: Henderson (GK), Shaw, Grealish, Henderson, Rashford, Coady, Calvert-Lewin, White, Johnstone (GK), James, Saka, Bellingham

Despite these unexpected additions to the team, Southgate’s side were triumphant in their opening games 1-0 win, a win which felt like a small piece of revenge following Croatia’s 2-1 win over England in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals – a bitter memory for England fans.

After the match, Southgate told ITV Sport: ”I think we used the ball well right from the start, defended as a team, we were good in our pressing, we picked the right moments to go – an incredibly hot day so there were moments where the tempo did drop and that was understandable, but I thought right from the first whistle to last it was a really good performance.’’

When asked about the decision to start Sterling: ”I’m really pleased for him, he’s been a hugely reliable player for us and his goal scoring record in the last 2 and a half years especially with us is excellent, we know he had a difficult end to the season but we wanted to put a lot of experienced players in today, we have a lot of young players and days like this experience is important.’’

England are now undefeated in twelve home games in major tournaments (excluding penalty shootouts).

If Southgate’s team selection is still receiving criticism, the England manager has every right to point to the final score and performances of the players he chose as proof of his wisdom.

The game was not perfect by any stretch, but the supporters were back, the sun was bright and the Three Lions took the opportunity to grab the opening three points away from group rivals Croatia.

England hope to keep this momentum going when they take on British rivals Scotland on Friday June 18 at 8pm and the Czech Republic on Tuesday June 22 at 8pm.