The man who saved that penalty from the England manager is part of the Germany coaching staff but Southgate, usually so affable about his defining moment as a player, was suddenly bored by the same trip back down memory lane.
“I don’t normally shake hands with the opposition goalkeeping coach…” he said. “If he’s got a pair of gloves on I’ll know who he is, but with respect I’ve never looked at loads of pictures of him other than from the back of the goal.”
Similarly, Southgate was not too thrilled to be reminded that the only other time he faced Germany was in 2000, that dismal last defeat at the old Wembley which spelled the end of Kevin Keegan’s reign as manager when he quit in the toilets.
“Yes, but I was on the bench in Munich for the 5-1 and I was on the bench in Charleroi for the 1-0 at Euro 2000,” he pointed out in his defence.
Certainly judging by his five-a-side efforts in the final training session at St George’s Park before flying out to Germany, the dugout is again the best place for him.
But on the plus side, that give him a perspective which Southgate is trying desperately to instil into his young players this week.
Gareth Southgate missed the decisive penalty at Euro 1996
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Stop wallowing in too many years of failure and think of what it is possible to achieve.
“The nation will judge us on the performance and they want an England team that is proud to wear the shirt,” he said.
“An England team that is playing with calculated aggression and positive about what they do.”
Not one that slinks away from major tournaments because it is too overburdened with anxiety to stand up to somebody like Iceland.
“I’ve been involved in tournaments as a player so it’s not all down to these guys,” Southgate continued. “But we can learn from those things and improve.
“I was just trying to open their eyes to what we believe is possible but it will be a lot of hard work and it might need challenging conversations and difficult decisions on my part but that is what we are in elite sport for.”
Gareth Southgate wants to focus on the future rather than the past
That said, ‘elite’ is not a particularly accurate description of our footballers at the moment.
Slowly, younger players are gradually playing more in the Premier League and probably more importantly, one or two of them are gradually building their European experience.
Players such as Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard, who are admired by coaches all around the continent, are slowly beginning to build respect at home as well and then there are bright young talents such as Dele Alli and Ross Barkley who are showing signs that they could be whatever they want to be.
But that is the future.
“Currently we are ranked 14th in the world,” Southgate said. “We can’t keep turning around and saying if only we had done a little bit better in this one game.
“We have to look at the bigger picture and bigger trend of performances. We have to seriously say what is needed to improve. I want new ideas and new ways of thinking.
England have a bright future with Marcus Rashford and Dele Alli in the team
“I have not worked with the squad directly before. I am coming in with no inhibitions and no fear of what might go wrong, I am looking at what is possible.
“How do we learn from successes elsewhere and there are consistencies when you see successful sportsmen.
“They have consistent methods of working and consistent habits and consistent behaviours and we have t make sure we are at the forefront of that and have some continuity to see the plan through, for sure we won’t get there overnight and there will be difficult days as well as good days.
“But I am not sure we have always looked at ourselves in the mirror as closely as that. Certainly, it is not comfortable for someone like myself to look in the mirror.”
Tumbleweed silence. The man who once wore a paper bag over his head in a pizza commercial has always poked fun at his own appearance, but he is better focusing on the coaching rather than the comedy.
To be fair, while Euro 2016 burns in the memory, football in this country is no laughing matter.