Online sports articles and news over the net

Latest online sports news , sports articles and sports videos

How far can England go at Euro 2016?

Posted on | June 14, 2016 | No Comments

On paper, England have a fantastic opportunity to emulate the World Cup-winning side of 1966 this summer. In reality, Roy Hodgson’s men are facing yet another embarrassing early exit at a major tournament. Despite playing well for the majority of their Group B opener with Russia, England slipped up in injury-time to hand the Russians a vital equaliser. And now, their clash with Wales – who beat Slovakia 2-1 earlier on the same day – is now perhaps the most important game in Hodgson’s tenure as England boss.


Before Saturday’s draw, many believed England could win the competition this summer. And if truth be told, that hasn’t changed too much. The Three Lions showed enough maturity and quality to suggest that they are capable of going all the way to the final on July 10th but Roy Hodgson’s decision-making has to change. If the England boss is too defensive, they will crash and burn at the first hurdle – just as they did in Brazil.

Victory over Wales on Thursday is now absolutely essential. Not only will it give England a great chance of finishing at the top of Group B but three points will also build some much-needed momentum after their deflating draw in Marseille. On their day, England are capable of putting three or four goals past Wales but Chris Coleman’s side will be buoyed by their victory and the Welsh passion, endeavour and hunger will be difficult to beat.

Selection vital

If nothing else, Hodgson must freshen things up. Harry Kane, playing in his 61st match of the campaign, looked tired in the warm conditions and the Tottenham Hotspur man was starved of support at times throughout Saturday’s clash. Hodgson has a number of options; either deploy Leicester City man Jamie Vardy on one of the flanks or tweak his system slightly to accommodate the Foxes striker alongside Kane in attack.

Either option would work. Hodgson simply has to use both Kane and Vardy in attacking areas – they are too good to sit on the bench. In fact, England’s main men finished as the two top goal scorers in the Premier League last season; and this statistic alone is one of the chief reasons why they both deserve to start upfront. After all, goals win matches and Kane and Vardy will certainly bring plenty of goals to the side.

In addition, the Wayne Rooney ‘problem’ could affect England’s chances. Should Hodgson use him in midfield or is the Manchester United man more effective in an advanced role? Everybody has their own opinion but Rooney’s performance against Russia showed that he is able to hold his own in midfield. The England captain stepped up to the plate and his presence was sorely missed in the latter stages after he was replaced by Jack Wilshere.

Ultimately, Hodgson’s ability to respond to substitutions and adapt tactically will decide England’s fate this summer. They have enough talent on the pitch but without proper guidance and leadership, that talent is wasted. England simply cannot afford to fail again and neither can Hodgson. His managerial legacy hinges on success at the Euros this summer and adopting a defensive approach whilst controlling the game will hinder England’s chances.

England have enough quality to get the job done but all of the pressure is on Hodgson’s men ahead of a tournament-defining clash with Wales. Win and England have the chance to be heroes again. Anything less and both their title aspirations and Roy Hodgson’s legacy will be hanging by a thread…



Leave a Reply