Do England really stand a chance at Euro 2012?

06 June 2012 01:49

England are currently fifth favourites to lift the European Championship this summer but do they really stand any chance of beating the likes of Spain, Germany, Holland or France.

The tournament kicks off in a couple of days and the optimism for England couldn’t be any lower. England have lost key players such as Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill leading up to the competition which has damaged the fans optimism further.

Roy Hodgson has years of experience domestically and abroad where he has played a similar style of football which has brought him success. Hodgson prefers his teams to be solid, tough to break down and the ability to counter quickly. This is very different to the likes of Spain and Holland who thrive on the ball and keeping possession. England have no choice but to play in this manner during the tournament and with Ashley Young, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott, England do have pace to play in this way.

The manner of the football may come under criticism from fans and the press but this will be the only way England have a chance at winning the competition. England were outplayed for large parts of the warm up games against Belgium and Norway but still came away with two wins from his first two in charge.

Uruguay won the 2011 Copa America and Greece won Euro 2004 playing defensively and Hodgson will go about this tournament the same way. The key player for England this summer is Ashley Young especially whilst Rooney is suspended. He possesses the ability to create chances, score goals and get behind defenders with his pace. Hodgson may go with Stewart Downing on the left hand side but a team with two out and out speedsters may suit England more. It will allow England to break quickly and put defences under pressure attacking in numbers. Danny Welbeck has to be the man upfront whilst we wait for Rooney, he has more pace than Carroll and is more used to retrieving the ball and involving the wide players.

Alan Shearer has stated: “I can’t see us winning it” along with questioning Hogdson’s decision to leave Rio Ferdinand out of the squad. A lot relies on how England perform in their first group game against France next week. France thrashed Estonia last night and looked very dangerous going forward. France are now unbeaten in 21 matches under Laurent Blanc and if England could avoid defeat, they will have a real good chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition.

Source: DSG