Gareth Southgate will need to shore up a shaky defence, as England gets ready to take on the big guns on home soil next summer, says John Duerden. England has not won a major international tournament since Queen Elizabeth II presented captain Bobby Moore the World Cup at Wembley Stadium in 1966.
But current captain Harry Kane is in with a chance of lifting his country’s second major prize into the London sky next summer – especially if certain issues can be fixed as England hosts the final of the Euro 2020 Championships (Euro 2020). Euro 2020 fans can book Euro Cup Round of 16 Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.
Among Bookies’ Favourites
Most bookmakers, in the United Kingdom at least, have England as the 2nd favourites to be European champions behind 2018 World Cup winner France and above Belgium, number one in the world according to FIFA’s rankings. 2nd billing may be slightly optimistic but there is no doubt that England is in the mix.
While France won the World Cup in 2018. Euro 2020 fans can book France Euro Cup Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices. Kane returned from Russia with the Golden Boot, the prize awarded to the tournament’s top scorer.
His 6 goals, helped England reach the semi-final. More recently, he finished the Euro 2020 qualification campaign as top scorer with 12 goals.
The Tottenham Hotspur headliner is one of the most prolific strikers in the world but is just one weapon in England’s enviable attacking arsenal that scored 37 goals in 8 qualification games. Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, another of England’s attacking stars, contributed eight.
Many of England’s young players, such as Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Ross Barkley of Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, form a strong offence. In the penultimate qualifier, a 4-0 win in Kosovo, emerging Premier League stars Mason Mount and Harry Winks scored their first goals.
Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham also scored his first goal in England’s 7-0 win over Montenegro earlier. All are playing for some of the best clubs in Europe and getting tested every week.
Who’s the boss?
The English media has at times in the past made playing for England miserable by building unreasonable expectations and then doling out vicious criticism when they were not met. It has been gentler and kinder on Southgate’s young team, however.
England has had talented players before but the national team is a different beast these days. The so-called golden generation that came together at the start of the previous decade was one such example. This team included Manchester United favourites David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand.
Liverpool legends Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen and Chelsea’s Frank Lampard and John Terry were also included in this list. Yet, they never truly delivered. Members have admitted that the fierce rivalries they enjoyed at club level resulted in national team cliques and reduced its effectiveness.
Southgate, who was appointed as head coach in November 2016 shortly after the disaster of the Euro Championships in France when England exited at the 2nd round after a humiliating loss to Iceland has worked hard to create a solid team spirit.
The softly-spoken tactician has built a calm and mature atmosphere, treating the players as adults and there seems to be mutual respect. That still seems to be the case despite a well-publicised event in November. In a top-of-the-table English Premier League game, Liverpool’s Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling of Manchester City clashed on the pitch as players do every weekend.
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