Danish Could Be Ultimate Dark Horses Again

The Danish national team are always a team to lookout for in a big tournament.

In the 80s they had the Danish Dynamite team that took the world by storm. In 1998 they took then world champions Brazil to their limits at France 98.

When you think of the ultimate dark horses; it’s hard not to think of the Danish side that climbed off their deckchairs, clambered off the beaches and won EURO 92. They only qualified because Yugoslavia went into a civil war and couldn’t compete.

Denmark have always produced fantastic players and played with a real flair. You’ve had the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Preben Elkjaer, Jon Dahl Tomasson and the Laudrup brothers shining in Danish red!

Coming into Euro 2020 and once again the Dane’s look like a strong unit.

They have a great goalkeeper and leader in Kasper Schmeichel (Son of Peter).

They have plenty of experience in Simon Kjaer, Thomas Delaney and Daniel Wass.

A talented Champions League winner in Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen.

Playmaker Christian Eriksen is still the maestro that makes this generation tick for The Red and Whites. He might have endured a tough start to his Inter Milan career but the twenty-nine year old managed to break into their side and help them win the Scudetto this season. He’s this Danish side’s leading scorer with 36 strikes in his 108 caps. He has also bagged four in his last six for his national side.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg could prove to be vital in breaking up play and getting the ball to talisman Eriksen’s feet.

While it’s true that none of their strikers has reached double figures in international football, they still provide a threat. FC Barcelona man Martin Braithwaite is always dangerous. Kasper Dolberg has plenty of potential and twenty year old Mikel Damsgard is an exciting attacker who likes to dribble at the opposition.

Looking at this Danish side, they have a good mix of young talent and old experienced heads. They look very strong as a unit, yet still have a magical source in Eriksen.

They come into the tournament in fine form too. They’re unbeaten in their last five outings and that includes a superb 4-0 victory over a pretty decent Austrian team (Via UEFA.com).

The Dane’s will also have a very manageable group and have a very intriguing opening game against fellow Scandinavians Finland. Playing that first game in Copenhagen and in front of their own support should give Denmark all the encouragement they need to start well!

They could finish second behind the Belgians in Group B and that might actually give them an easier route to the Euro 2020 final.

With Denmark’s history and the strength in depth they possess in their current squad it would be foolish not to see them as potential dark horses once again!

Their manager Kasper Hjulmand has stated that his squad are already dreaming of success:

“We are comfortable and we believe in ourselves,” 

“We do dare to dream big but we also know that there are bigger countries out there with better opportunities to win it all. So our first aim is to progress from the group and then everything can happen.”

Via Barron’s

It will be interesting to see just how far this Danish side can go, can they really explode and surprise the world yet again?

Italian Hitman Ciro Immobile Could Be Golden Boot Worthy

Today is the day, Euro 2020 has finally arrived! Hip Hip Hooray!!!

I spent my morning picking my Euro 2020 fantasy team over at UEFA.com and as always you have to research these big decisions.

Italy have been fairly impressive coming into this tournament. The Azzurri have won their last seven on the trot.

They are once again looking like a defensive powerhouse, having kept clean-sheets in all those seven victories.

Up-top they could now have a striker that will threaten the leading scorers chart.

Ciro Immobile has a sensational goalscoring record in Serie A with Lazio. Ciro has bagged himself 123 strikes in 177 league outings for I Biancocelesti.

His goalscoring record for his national team is a bit more modest, with him standing at on 13 goals in 46 caps.

But the thirty-one year old has struck three in his last four games this year for Italy. Those goals came in wins over Northern Ireland, Lithuania and the Czech Republic.

Italian boss Roberto Mancini will have to decide whether he starts with Torino’s Andrea Belotti or go with Immobile. The fact it’s a competition might sway in Ciro’s favour, given previous comments from Mancini:

“Ciro has always done well when playing with us. If we had 38 games in a row together, he’d score 25 goals, but it’s tougher when you only get together every now and then.”

Via Football Italia

His late season form for Lazio was also impressive and that too might give him an edge over rivals. Immobile struck six times in his last nine appearances this term. He also set-up two assists for teammates.

The thirty-one year old is a good all-round attacker. He can get in behind defences, he can make first time finishes and score with his head too. His movement can be sublime and that often allows him to find space inside the box.

It would also make for a good redemption story if Ciro steps up and leads the scoring charts in the summer’s tournament. Quite a lot of Italians blamed him for misses against Sweden in the World Cup play-off loss in 2017.

Italy loves a redemption story, just ask Roberto Baggio!

It would be a very Italian story if they were to miss out in the last World Cup and then go on to win this summer’s Euros and for fall guy Ciro Immobile to go from zero to hero.

Being a romantic, that’s why I have selected Ciro in my fantasy team and backing him to win the golden boot!

Scotland Should Be Brave And Start Billy Gilmour

We are now just days away from Scotland’s men stepping out at Hampden and playing in their first major tournament match since 1998!

The Tartan Army are quietly becoming more and more confident in our nation’s chances of finally qualifying for the next stage of a big competition.

Euro 2020 could really be the time Scotland thrive.

For me, I would like Scotland boss Steve Clarke being brave and give teenager Billy Gilmour a starting role within our midfield in our opening game against the Czech Republic on Monday afternoon.

Gilmour might only have two international caps to his name thus far but he has already made a big impression in a Scotland shirt, especially in his cameo against Luxembourg. In that fixture, before coming off with a knock, Billy was dictating play and even bursting forward with the ball. The opposition couldn’t get to grips with him and had to brutally take him out to stop him from bossing them into submission.

I would use the Chelsea man in a central midfield alongside Manchester United Scott McTominay, with talismanic figure John McGinn being given freedom to push forward. I feel that trio would give us an ideal balance in the all important midfield engine-room.

Gilmour has flourished whenever he’s made an appearance for Chelsea. He has handled the pressures of playing in the Premier League. He is already a master at keeping the ball and moving it away from opponents.

The youngster tasted Champions League success earlier in the summer and that will have only boosted his confidence even further.

His club boss Thomas Tuchel has stated that he likes the way the Adrossan native trains and that he’s comfortable playing him whenever his main midfield can’t start games:

“Hopefully, he does what he does in training,”

“He’s waited long, worked hard, and I don’t want him to overdo stuff. It’s pretty exciting for him and hopefully, he shows what he shows in training.”

Via Football.London

The young player has already caught the eye of rivals, such as England’s Phil Foden:

Billy coming into this European Championship fresh could also be vital, in my opinion. Callum McGregor has played a lot of minutes this term and that’s actually been the way of it for a few seasons now. Unfortunately this year, the Celtic man hasn’t been able to reach his usually dependable high standards. He looks like a player desperate to find his form and I’m not sure continually playing him is the way to get him back to his best, he might actually need a rest!

Now I seriously doubt Steve Clarke will share my opinion on this particular subject. I think he’ll stay loyal to McGregor and trust Callum to do his best for Scotland. He may also believe that it’s better for nineteen year old Gilmour to ease his way into the tournament and thrive when coming off the bench.

Given Clarke has finally got us back to a major tournament I won’t be in a rush to state my disapproval at any decisions he might make in the upcoming weeks. He’s the man that has allowed our team and nation to boogie after all!

That being said, I would really love to see us taking that wee risk and playing a player that our team could soon be built upon. Billy Gilmour is the player that gets the Tartan Army excited and I am hoping he can make a huge impact during Euro 2020 and help us get to that all illusive second round.

Man City & Chelsea Already Classed As Premier League Favourites For Next Season

With the 2020/21 season now in the history books, the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea can reflect on what was a very successful campaign. For Pep Guardiola’s City, their pursuit of an unprecedented ‘quadruple’ fell short, but they still completed a domestic double with the Premier League title in addition to a fourth consecutive League Cup. Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea, meanwhile, survived a late-season scare to secure a top four place, while beating City in a hard-fought Champions League final to win Europe’s biggest competition for a second time (BBC Match Report). 

As a result, it’s no surprise to see England’s premier blue sides once again fancied for the Premier League trophy in 2021/22. City are once again outright favourites, they are heavily fancied in the latest football odds, while Chelsea sit as second favourites. England’s two most successful domestic sides, Liverpool and Manchester United, complete a presumptive top four. 

Can Anyone Replace Agüero? 

Perhaps the biggest question mark surrounding City and Chelsea’s title credentials next season will be the looming decision at the striker position for both teams. Sergio Agüero finally said goodbye to the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season, leaving as the top scorer for a single club in Premier League history and with five league winner’s medals to his name. 

Linked with every major striker in European football in recent months, City’s 2021/22 season could be defined by who they bring in to fill Aguero’s shoes. Even so, City were the division’s top scorers last year despite playing without a number one striker for much of the campaign. That was largely thanks to stellar play from City’s midfield, where İlkay Gündoğan, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Ferran Torresand Kevin de Bruyne all contributed goals in double figures. 

Is Werner The Answer For Chelsea? 

Likewise, Chelsea have been subject to rumours linking them with young prodigy Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund (Source: Give Me Sport) and their former player Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan. With Lukaku pledging his future to the new Serie A champions (Via Sky Sports), Chelsea could turn their attention to Haaland, who has an excellent goal-scoring record at the highest level but comes with a price tag to match. With Chelsea under owner Roman Abramovich, however, budget is rarely a concern, and the Russian owner is sure to provide Thomas Tuchel with summer transfer funds after the German’s success in the Champions League. 

A decision also waits on the horizon for Timo Wernerhowever, who has underwhelmed since his move from RB Leipzig last summer. If Tuchel can inspire some confidence in his fellow countryman, there would be no ceiling on Chelsea’s potential next year, as in the second half of the season under Tuchel they boasted the best defence in the Premier League. 

That stingy defensive system can be Chelsea’s backbone in their title challenge – but to keep up with Manchester City’s juggernaut offensive machine, they will need the likes of Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech to start contributing more goals from midfield than they managed in 2020/2.

The Premier League title could be decided by whichever club manages to tie down a world class goalscorer!

Ange Postecoglou Might Need Time To Succeed At Celtic

It’s looking increasingly likely that Ange Postecoglou will become the new Celtic manager. Sky Sports have reported that the Scottish Premiership side have agreed a compensation package with Japanese club Yokohama F. Marinos to take the Aussie boss to Parkhead.

It has been a bit of a wait for the Hoops fans as they’ve seen number one target Eddie Howe turn down the job. The delay in getting a new gaffer in, along with the hugely disappointing season they endured last season has seen the support turn a bit cranky lately.

Some will question Ange’s credentials, he’s never worked with big European side before. The Celtic support will also demand to be challenging for silverware next term.

Now this might be hard to understand in Glasgow but the fans might have to be patient and give Postecoglou some time to prove himself on these shores.

When you look at the type of football that the Australian likes to see his teams play – attack minded with an intense high press and to play out from the back – then you can see similarities with esteemed coaches like Marcelo Bielsa and Maurizio Sarri.

When you look at those gifted individuals, you’ll notice they’re usually at their best in longterm projects and need time to get their philosophy to work at certain clubs.

Even Ange Postecoglou’s own CV suggests he might take a season to get players used to his system. He won league titles in Australia and in Japan but only after slightly inconsistent first years, which involved a squad rebuild.

But once his teams got up to speed with his tactics and his style, then they became winners. It was all about drilling the players and perfecting the game plan. Then his methods bear fruit.

Rivals Rangers decided to give current manager Steven Gerrard time. In that time he made mistakes but he learned from them and he’s now managing the Scottish Premiership champions.

That’s not to say that the fifty-five year old won’t win things in his maiden season in charge in Glasgow’s east end, if he takes over.

Dick Advocaat and Brendan Rodgers rebuilt their respective squads and changed their style and commanded instant success. But they also had different starting points. Advocaat had limitless funds and not the strongest Celtic side to catch, Rodgers took over a club that had little competition to come up against and had already developed a winning mentality.

Former Gers defender Craig Moore is probably not a go to guy for recommendations for the Celtic faithful but he has given Ange a glowing report:

People think he’s a little bit of an unknown but I think that’s a little bit ignorant. If you do a bit of research you see he’s been successful wherever he’s been.

“He’s very ambitious and coming from Australia that can work against you a little bit, but he has a real drive.

“He’s a very pro-active coach in terms of style and brand of football. He does play entertaining football, and whatever team he’s had, they’ve scored goals.

“Like Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, he really likes his teams to play football in the right way.

Via The Scottish Sun

I’d urge the Celtic support to give Ange Postecoglou time to get things right at Parkhead. It might not happen instantly but give him a season and see if things have improved within that time.

Supporters always bang on about playing the ‘Celtic Way’ but it’s not the easiest thing to get right. The Aussie gaffer has a history of getting his sides to play attractive football but could just take a bit of time to get there!

Signing Sancho, Saul And Torres Would Give Man United A Huge Title Boost

Every summer, Manchester United get linked with a plethora of stars as they continue in their search for their first Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

Once again the media have linked the Old Trafford club with some of the world’s best players.

Three that have been mentioned a few times could really propel Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team back into a golden era.

Those names are Jadon Sancho, Saul Niguez and Pau Torres.

They would add strength in areas of United’s squad that really need standout replacements for.

Sancho would represent the type of young British talent, the kind that can become world class, that often excites both the Man Utd fans and their hierarchy.

They were in constant dialogue with Borussia Dortmund last summer but couldn’t agree on a deal (From Eurosport). That seemed to distract the forward at the start of last term but his form picked up. He ended the campaign with eight Bundesliga goals and eleven assists.

The twenty-one year old seemed to be at his most efficient when deployed on the right of Dortmund’s attack. At United, they’ve lacked a consistent performer in that area of their team. Bringing in Sancho would add more danger on that flank and free up Mason Greenwood to challenge of the number nine role. It would be really exciting to see a Jadon working alongside the likes of Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes. They’d provide a constant threat and have United fans off their seats!

Jadon Sancho is now entering the final year of his contract with BVB and that could see the German side more inclined into doing a deal with United.

Although Man United should probably try and do a deal quickly this summer as Champions League winners Chelsea could also be interested in the wide-man (Source Si.com).

Man United still seem light in the central midfield area.

Fred, for me, isn’t going to be a player that will start every week and help your club to win major titles. While Nemanja Matic is being linked with a move to AS Roma, which would see him playing under Jose Mourinho again (Via The Metro).

Atletico Madrid midfield man Saul Niguez has been rumoured to be on United’s wanted list for some time and FourFourTwo are now suggesting that the Spaniard could be pushing for a move to the Premier League giants.

The central midfielder only made twenty-two starts as his side were crowned La Liga champs this season. That could make a possible move easier for all sides concerned.

The twenty-six year old has been with Atletico his entire career to date (save a loan season at Rayo Vallecano). A move could give Saul the impetus to revitalise his career and become a star elsewhere.

Saul is a very versatile midfield star. As well as being able to play as a central midfielder, Saul can also play on the lefthand side and on the right. He can sit in as the holding midfielder and as a makeshift left-back if needed. He’s also a born winner and has picked up many a winners medal at Atletico, Man United need that kind of mentality within their ranks!

Saul could give Solskjaer the perfect option as the Spaniard can be disciplined when needed but he can also venture forward when called upon too. He would probably offer the Red Devils more balance in midfield when compared to anyone currently on their books.

He still has the love of his current boss Diego Simeone:

“Saúl is very important for us, he has given us a lot from day one,”

Via Into The Cauldron

United’s biggest issues still come from their backline.

Phil Jones is somehow still there but shouldn’t be. Eric Bailly is too injury prone to be relied upon. While Victor Lindelof has once again proven to be too inconsistent this season.

United lost the Europa League final to Villarreal and it could be with them that the answer to Man Utd’s defensive problems lies.

United have been linked with Pau Torres for a while now, with the Daily Mirror going as fas as to say that a ‘mutual agreement’ had already been agreed upon earlier in the year.

The centre-back’s performances have impressed Luis Enrique enough to see Pau selected for Spain’s squad for this summer’s Euros.

Torres has certainly got a huge admirer in current boss Unai Emery:

“I’ve been a coach in Sevilla, PSG, Arsenal and I’ve never seen a centre back like Pau Torres. 

“I think he’s going to play at the highest level, he’s playing now in the national team but he can play in the top teams in Europe very soon.”

Quote From Manchester Evening News

Pau is a defender who is more than capable when it comes to handling himself in the air. He also has the pace needed to clean up things at the back if needed. 

Would be best deployed on the left side of the centre-back pairing and that might depend on what Harry Maguire favours or whether or not Solskjaer believes it will give him more balance at the back.

It’s believed that the twenty-four year old has a £43m release clause.

I don’t know if Manchester United have the ambition or the want to make three major signings during this transfer window. But if they were to bring in these three particular names then I can definitely see them being huge title contenders for next term.

Dean Henderson Has To Start Next Season As Man United’s Number One

There’s no doubting that David de Gea has been a terrific servant for Manchester United.

The Spaniard has enjoyed some great success and helped his side’s cause with some stunning saves. At one time we could have even classed De Gea as one of the world’s top keepers.

But the thirty year old hasn’t been at that level for quite some time now. I feel for the goalie as I don’t believe his drop in form is all down to him, there’s only so many times that you can carry your teammates before breaking your back.

Unfortunately though, if you look at United then one thing at the moment needs to be address if they are going to win silverware next season and that’s the goalkeeping situation.

On Wednesday night, Man United lost on penalties to Villarreal in the Europa League final (BBC Match Report).

De Gea conceded all eleven penalties he faced and then unfortunately missed the last spot kick to hand his club the defeat.

Now forget the missed spot-kick, a goalie isn’t paid or expected to score goals. David was woeful in his keeping duties. I don’t think I have seen a goalkeeper physically shrink like De Gea did on the goal-line. He looked nervous, slow and rarely went the right way at any point.

The Spanish international hasn’t actually saves a pen since 2016! These are the moments when a big club needs an inspired man between the sticks and De Gea no longer inspires confidence.

Even though Man United finished second in the league, they actually conceded more than anyone else in the top four!

Now their could and probably should be a ready made replacement at Old Trafford.

Dean Henderson enjoyed a fantastic two year loan spell at Sheffield United between 2018 and 2020. In that time he helped The Blades win promotion into the Premier League and then helped keep them there.

This season has seen United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have a look at twenty-four year old by playing him in twenty-six outings.

In those somewhat sporadic appearances, the England international managed to produce eleven clean-sheets. Standouts include against Manchester City, Leeds United and AC Milan.

Henderson is a terrific shot-stopper and possesses great reflexes. He’s also a keeper that seems switched on and is able to keep fully concentrated for long spells too. Ironically he’s also very good when facing up to penalties!

In the past, Solskjaer has explained that he likes the competition between his two goalies:

“I’m in a very fortunate position to have the goalkeeper department that I have – and it was a conscious decision to bring Dean back to have real competition.

“Dean has made it harder and harder for me, of course, to leave him out because whenever he plays he does really well.”

Via Manchester Evening News

I think that Ole has always been right to not throw De Gea under the bus, even after some erratic performances. I also feel he deserved another chance to prove himself at Old Trafford this season.

I just don’t believe the Spaniard did enough to deserve to hold onto the number one for next term.

Dean Henderson now deserves his chance to prove himself as Manchester United’s new number one!

Building Our Scotland Team Around John McGinn

We now know Scotland’s squad for this summers’ Euros.

I’m pretty excited by the inclusions of youngsters Billy Gilmour, David Turnbull and Nathan Patterson.

Steve Clarke may have surprised me with those call-ups but one thing was guaranteed and that was the inclusion of John McGinn.

Personally, I feel we should build our starting eleven around the Aston Villa man as he seems to be Scotland’s new talismanic figure.

In his thirty-two caps for Scotland, McGinn has managed to grab ten goals. All of those strikes have come in the last two years, so his ten goals have actually all come in his last nineteen international appearances.

It should also be noted that all of the twenty-six year old’s goals for his national team have come in qualifiers. This again shows how vital he has become for us in the bigger games!

Looking at the twenty-six players Clarke has selected for the tournament, John is our leading scorer.

Now the midfield dynamo can play in various positions within the engine-room.

At Villa this season, he has mainly been deployed in a deeper role. He can obviously play centrally and he can feature further forward too.

I’d like to see him in that role closer to our attack in June or in a three man midfield but with licence to make plenty of runs into the opposition’s penalty area.

Scotland often find themselves under pressure and McGinn could be an important source to relive some pressure by getting hold of the ball and venturing into the opposition’s half.

It would be great if during at least one of our friendlies leading into the tournament, if we could see McGinn ahead of or alongside Scott McTominay and Billy Gilmour. That might give us a nicely balanced midfield and allow John McGinn to flourish.

The Glasgow native is at his best when the ball arrives at his feet on a half turn and he can then drive forward. That keeps the opposition on the back foot and it also draws in fouls.

He also has bundles of energy. That can see him cover every blade of grass and use disciplined aggression to put opponents under constant pressure. The midfielder’s passing is also often crisp (if sometimes erratic) and those legs can get back and make recoveries too!

It should be really encouraging for The Tartan Army that John McGinn’s season looks to be peaking just in time for the Euros.

The player has been sublime form recently for Aston Villa. He scored a wonderfully taken goal in a loss to Crystal Palace and he bossed things in his side’s away win over Tottenham Hotspur (BBC Match Report).

After scoring for Villa against Premier League champions Manchester City in April, McGinn’s club boss Dean Smith was full of praise:

“I was really pleased for McGinn to get the goal. He’s one of our unsung heroes at times; his work-rate and what he gives to the team is exceptional.

“He’ll be the first to admit at times that his passing could be better but he gives us everything. He deserves that goal. He’s been playing a little bit deeper at times this year and doing fantastically well. He’s the envy of a lot of the Premier League managers whenever we play against them.”

Via Birmingham Mail

John McGinn may be a bit of unsung hero in the Midlands but he’s the heroic performer that Scotland fans and their manager cherish.

His drive, his energy and his nose for important goals could be extremely vital for us this summer!

We need to have the midfielder in a role that sees him pushing forward at every possible opportunity.

The Big Yin is a huge local hero in Glasgow, let’s hope this summer our new hero John McGinn can be the man that leads us to our first ever knockout stage.

Liverpool Right To Trust Jurgen Klopp

If Jurgen Klopp hadn’t have brought the Premier League title to Anfield last season, then it could have been easy for the Liverpool hierarchy to pull the trigger and sack the German at points during this season.

But that championship win, along with years of progress, was enough to but the Reds gaffer time and Liverpool’s board are now seeing that their decision to stand by their man was the right call.

Klopp and his team have had rotten luck with injuries this term and they seem to have struggled with the idea of being the champs and defending their title.

Yet they seemed down and out of even Champions League qualification just a few months ago. Now with three games to go, The Reds have their destiny in their own hands given the way the fixture list has landed.

Three wins and they should edge out either Chelsea or Leicester City and get that Top Four spot.

Liverpool are currently on a seven game unbeaten run. They look to be playing their best football of this calendar year. They’ve just won their last two fixtures comfortably against Manchester United (BBC Match Report) and Southampton.

Mo Salah is entering into some decent form, scoring twice and creating an assist in his last three appearances.

Thiago is starting to finally come into his own in the midfield, while Trent Alexander-Arnold has answered his critics with some sterling form of his own!

Other clubs like Tottenham Hotspur have pushed the button and decided to ditch their manager, but Liverpool are starting to see their patience paying off.

Another issue that has seen Liverpool’s form dip has been the lack of fans within the stadium as Klopp himself has pointed out:

“But one of the main reasons is there is no crowd in, there’s no doubt about that. A lot of teams have that problem.”

Via LiverpoolFC.com

As the UK heads further out of lockdown, we should see that change soon. It might not impact this season but it could really bolster Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp’s chances of winning the Premier League crown back next year.

Assessing England’s EURO 2020 Chances

For England fans it’s a very exciting build-up to the European championships at present, as there is no doubt that their side is going in with as good a chance of winning than any time in recent history.

England are also heavily fancied within their fanbase, with supporters also backing them using the latest Euro 2020 betting offers. That is a trend that is set to continue moving into the tournament, as belief grows that it could finally be England’s year.

So, can England win Euro 2021? 

If you look at the history of England in the tournament, then you would say no, as they’ve failed to win the competition. Third place has so far been their best finish in both 1969 and 1996.

England have also really failed to hit expectations at the last two European championships, as they dropped out in the quarter-final stages in 2012 and then exited in the round of 16 back in 2016. This was simply not good enough for a side as good as England, so changes needed to be made. 

There’s no doubt that major improvements have been made and we saw this at the World Cup back in 2018, with England progressing through to the semi-finals before being beaten in extra time by Croatia. Even since then, England have gone from strength to strength and this has been shown in their results, that has included a very impressive qualification to the European Championships itself. England are also on an unbeaten run (Source Englandfootball.com) that dates back to the 2-0 away defeat to Belgium in November. This has included a 4-0 home victory over Iceland and a 2-1 home win over Poland. These are all games that they would have been expected to win but they’ve impressed and controlled every game with ease. 

England are now heading into the European Championships in some very strong form as a squad and as individuals, with many of the players coming off the back of some incredible seasons.

We have seen this with the success of English sides in European club competition, with Manchester United the strong favourites for the Europa League title heading into the final and both Manchester City and Chelsea taking each other on for the Champions League title also.

These sides have a number of the leading English stars, who will now be heading into the tournament full of confidence and these major finals will also have given them some much needed experience of the big stage.

So, there is little doubt that England can win the tournament as the team continues to grow in confidence.