So we are just half an hour away from England’s opening Euro2016 match against Russia, and Arsenal’s own young lion Jack Wilshere will be praying he will have a place in the starting line-up. If not though he believes that this new young England side have more than enough quality to make their mark in the competition.
“I think we are in a strong position – we have changed a lot since the World Cup,” Jack said on Arsenal.com. “It was put to us by the manager to really evolve as a team.
“A lot of players left. Lampard and Gerrard were big names and big players in the team and we almost had to rebuild.
“The team has changed over the last two years, and people have come in like Dele Alli and Harry Kane, who has really become one of the best strikers in the world. Even the likes of Adam Lallana, who was at the World Cup and didn’t play, and Raheem Sterling.
“They are players who can really change a game, plus the likes of Ross Barkley. If people aren’t [in the starting XI] and we need a goal, there are players who can come on and do that for us.
“A lot of people wrote us off but we got through the qualification process with no problems. I know they were not all tough games but you still have to beat what is in front of you.
“We have had a few friendlies as well where we have shown people what we can do, and we are confident we can get out of the group – then anything can happen.”
After this years Premier League I can certainly believe that anything can happen! One record that England need to break is the fact that they have never won at opening game at the Euros, and there is no better time to do it than today.
Russia were vey impressive in the Qualifier except for two 1-0 defeats to Austria, but in their warm up games they have disappointed. They beat Lithuania 3-0 in March. but in their three following games they have lost to France 4-2, the Czech Republic 2-1, and drew 1-1 with the Serbs last time out.
I’m not saying it will be easy, but Roy Hodgson will have to have this team totally ready to fight. A nice win today and England can go into the rest of the competition with a little more hope….