What lies in wait for the England national team at Euro 2016?
Let’s face it – supporting the England national team these days simply isn’t an easy sentence to set yourself in the modern era. For one reason or another, the nation’s once proud Three Lions contingency ultimately no longer represent a unit worthy of captivating their fans and succeeding out on the pitch whilst they’re at it.
Over the last few international tournaments, England have literally been one of the poorest sides to even bother turning up. From losing numerous penalty-shoot-outs in desperately characteristic style, to producing some of the worst matches ever seen at a World Cup and embarrassingly failing to qualify for Euro 2008 under Steve McClaren’s ill-fated reign – football in this country is arguably on its knees at the minute, and no one seems to be able to provide any meaningful solutions to the mounting problems.
England’s Euro 2020 Chances
Maybe it’s because the English game simply has too much money in it to honestly maintain the common touch. Young stars of the modern era – such as Raheem Sterling to name but one – already have so much supposed power and prestige to their name, supporting them in the usual manner has seemingly become far too un-relatable to even make sense.
Football was originally conceived to be a working man’s game after all, but with the F.A. currently being made up mostly of middle class males with non-footballing backgrounds, the relationship between the English team and it’s once loyal fan-base is becoming more and more displaced with every passing season.
So then, as another potentially damaging international test will once again crop up for Roy Hodgson’s side over the course of the summer next year, what will Euro 2016 ultimately have in store for a current England side clearly struggling to define its identity in the modern era?
Well, in light of this particular Euro 2020 preview, maybe – just maybe – England actually deserve a little backing from their fans ahead of next summer’s tournament. The Three Lions have successfully won eight out of eight qualifying games across the whole of Group E, rather effortlessly booking their place in the competition once the 2015/16 domestic campaign finally reaches its conclusion.
With Wayne Rooney also recently breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s record as the all-time top England goal-scorer, do we actually have some strong reason for excitement going into Euro 2016? Hodgson’s squad is now full of young stars looking to make a name for themselves on the international stage and all the components are seemingly in place for a successful tournament next summer one way or another…right?
England to Impress
Well, haven’t we all heard that particular offering of recycled phrasing before? Of course the England national team have the potential to impress next summer – that much seemingly goes without saying. Yet, because of their well-known habit of failing to step up when it really matters, the Three Lions simply can’t be issued with any form of meaningful praise until a vast improvement is made in the big tournaments.
After all, Wayne Rooney’s recent record breaking feat doesn’t seem all that impressive when it’s spun in a different light. Because the current Manchester United captain only has one solitary World Cup goal to his name – with Sir Bobby Charlton actually going down as a genuine World Cup winner with all things considered – Rooney’s recent goal-scoring exploits simply fail to represent a great deal in the cold light of day. Until he can consistently do the business on the grandest stage of all, his impressive qualifying form must rightly remain in its somewhat insignificant place.
Although the likes of John Stones, Raheem Sterling, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley all symbolize a decent looking youthful outlook within the current England squad, history has simply taught us not to get too carried away with increasingly hollow terms such as ‘potential’ and ‘promise’. As Hodgson’s defensive options remain completely unconvincing at this stage in the game, the problems surrounding the Three Lions are ultimately much more telling than this recent spell of positivity has led us to believe.
With players such as Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy also making an appearance among the team of late, questions surrounding England’s apparent strength in depth remain as rife as ever. There’s absolutely no way the current Foxes favourite would ever have a chance of breaking into squads belonging to the likes of Germany, Spain or France, after all.
England – The Prediction
So then, whilst it may seem pointlessly detractive to criticise the entire England set-up in such a negative way these days, previously poor tournament performances and a complete lack of direction behind the scenes have ultimately produced such an attitude among the fans regardless.
The Three Lions need to give their supporters reason to get back involved among the action – so unless the atmosphere surrounding the team takes on a dramatic change throughout the upcoming season – don’t expect Euro 2016 to produce anything new from an English perspective.
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