A new generation of English stars will hope to set the stage alight during Euro 2020.
Perennial contenders ahead of any major tournament with the end result more often than not being a massive disappointment: this is the discourse that has haunted The Three Lions since time immemorial.
Quite often, they have fallen victims to the unrealistic expectations created by their own country’s media. On other occasions, they simply haven’t been able to perform at the level desired of them.
This time however, the ranked No.4 team by FIFA will strongly feel that a change is around the corner.
The likes of Foden, Sancho, and Mount are already making the country dream about a new and bright future in international football. Ahead of Euro 2020, we analyse the England squad.
ENGLAND SQUAD FOR EURO 2020
Though England have yet to name their final 26-man squad for the competition, they did name the provisional squad a few days ago.
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale, Sam Johnstone
Defenders: Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ben White, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Conor Coady, Ben Godfrey, Luke Shaw, John Stones
Midfielders: Mason Mount, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse, Jude Bellingham
Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Harry Kane, Bukayo Sakal, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Ollie Watkins, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford
Ben White and Ben Godfrey received their first senior national team call-ups. On the other hand, Aaron Ramsdale and the uncapped Sam Johnstone were also included in the preliminary squad as Nick Pope missed out due to injury.
Star players like Eric Dier, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Patrick Bamford, and Dele Alli have missed the call from head coach Gareth Southgate this time around. Joe Gomez, meanwhile, is injured and won’t be available for the tournament.
ENGLAND MANAGER GARETH SOUTHGATE
A former Aston Villa and Crystal Palace defender, Gareth Southgate took over the role of head coach of the national side in 2016 following three years of training the under-21 England side.
His appointment came under controversial circumstances when former manager Sam Allardyce resigned from his position after just one game in charge due to the 2016 English football corruption scandal.
Southgate was handed a permanent contract the following month as England managed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
In Russia, Southgate became the only manager since Alf Ramsey and Bobby Robson to guide England to the semifinals of a World Cup. Despite taking a 1-0 lead against eventual runners-up Croatia, England ended up losing 2-1 in extra time in that contest.
Following the exit from the World Cup, Gareth Southgate then led England to a third-place finish in the inaugural edition of the UEFA Nations League.
ENGLAND EURO 2020 POSSIBLE LINEUP AND TACTICS
Without a doubt, England will once again rely on their three-at-the-back system that worked wonders for them during the World Cup.
It helps Southgate keep things tight and secure at the back and with John Stones getting back to his best with City this season and Harry Maguire likely to return to full fitness soon, he will be tempted to use that formation again.
Southgate may look to deploy Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw in the wing-back positions which will allow him to use Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson, and Mason Mount in midfield.
England have enormous depth in the full-back positions, and Reece James, who plays in the wing-back role under Thomas Tuchel, and Trent Alexander-Arnold are excellent backup options.
On the other hand, Ben Chilwell has had a successful season with Chelsea and Southgate may even be tempted to use Bukayo Saka on the left flank.
In attack, Harry Kane, who registered the most goals and assists in Premier League this year, is expected to lead the frontline once again.
Phil Foden, a generational talent who has been converted into a half-winger by Guardiola this season, might fulfill that same role for the national side or play as a creative number 10.
Marcus Rashford, who is a strong contender for the PFA Young Player of the Season award, might round off the front three for England but given his form. Southgate may also consider Jadon Sancho or Mason Greenwood on the right.
The fluidity of the front three also leaves the manager with several options depending on the opposition. They can also play a 3-4-1-2, 3-4-2-1, or even a 3-5-2 instead of the usual 3-4-3 depending on how their opponents press or prefer to sit deep.
Predicted Playing XI (3-4-3/3-4-1-2): Dean Henderson, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Kieran Trippier/Reece James/Trent Alexander Arnold, Luke Shaw, Declan Rice/Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford/Jadon Sancho/Mason Greenwood
ENGLAND’S CHANCES OF WINNING EURO 2020
Though England haven’t won a tournament since the 1966 World Cup, there is genuine optimism surrounding the English side this summer. Following their successful World Cup run in Russia and the emergence of world-class youngsters, England will look to capitalize on their chances.
Three English teams – Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea – qualified for the two major European finals this season with City and Chelsea playing an all-English Champions League final.
That just goes to show the level of dominance of English teams in European football over the last few years and The Three Lions will be aiming to go all the way and bring the trophy home for the first time in 55 years!
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