A few years back, there was much made of Arsenal’s “English Core” that was supposed to be the backbone of the England team for this generation, but due to mostly injuries they have rarely all featured together for Roy Hodgson’s side. In fact in the last international break before the Euro2016 actually starts, only Danny Welbeck started for the Three Lions against Germany, and Theo Walcott only got a run out with the second string side against Holland a few days later.
Walcott may not even make the final Euro squad after Hodgson warned him that he needs to get more games for Arsenal first, but conversely he has told Jack Wilshere that he could still be picked even if he only has a few games under his belt, having not played even one game this season! There was no place in those friendlies for Gibbs, Chambers or Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Germany will start the Euro2016 competition as one of the favourites, and that looked justified when they raced into a 2-0 lead over England, but the Lions fought back to gain an amazing 3-2 win, which caused the watching Arsene Wenger to reassess England’s chances of making a name for themselves in France. Hodgson’s side are currently 9/1 to win Euro2016 outright, but before you invest your cash make sure you check out all the best Euro 2016 Betting Offers as the bookies are always very generous at that time of year.
The Arsenal boss obviously thinks that England are a very good price as he said after the Germany match: “I was impressed and I made them [among the] favourites straight away,” Wenger said. “I had been a bit cautious as I thought the super-favourites were Germany, France and Spain with England behind, but now they are up there on the list.
“I didn’t see the second game against Holland, I saw the France game [against Russia]. They are [also among the] favourites because they have so many good players, but they have as well their internal debate about [whether to play] Benzema or not. They create their own problems.
“Germany will be there,” added Wenger. “Germany suffered a lot against England, and I must say I was impressed by England. They were 2-0 down and Germany scored a goal that was not offside so they had a chance of 3-0.
“I must tell you even at 2-0 down I was impressed by England, but if they had lost 3-0 what would the conclusion have been in the press?”
Yes you can imagine can’t you? But the England squad proved that Hodgson has a lot of improving youngsters coming through that could cause a surprise in France.
So Wenger tips Germany, England, France and Spain as the main contenders. Do you think England really could go all the way?