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
won the 2011 Copa America
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.