Saka and Rice’s England side hardly look like favourites to go all the way in the Euros

England can’t go on like this for the rest of their Euro 2024 campaign

England have arguably been involved in two of the worse games of Euro 2024 so far, this is something which has surely not only been questioned by Sky Sports but by the people of this nation.

Gareth Southgate’s near enough chosen team every time have looked like one of the most shambolic sides in the tournament so far. The Three Lions just about beat Serbia 1-0 in their opening group stage match on Sunday, against a side which is currently sat 32nd in FIFA’s football rankings. They’re still a team which should be tackled with ease by an arguably ageing England team overall, who have failed in recent years at their peak to claim an International honour. That game recorded the lowest shots on goal than iny other game in the Euros.

England started on a wobbly foot versus Denmark last night in their second group stage game and conceded a close range shot inside only the first minute, struggling with the fundamental basics of football in failing to get a number of consecutive passes together.  However they started to build some momentum with Harry Kane slotting in the opener after 18 minutes before England dropped off letting Denmark back into the game, who would eventually equalise just before halftime with a freak shot on goal from outside the box.

There’s enough quality in England’s side to have retaliated and gone onto win the game but as it went on we could only pray for a succession of shots on target (which was an issue) yet alone a winner, before a 1-1 draw was settled. Even though the Danish are a decent side who made England work hard in the previous Euros at Wembley to reach the final, they are far from favourites going into the ongoing tournament. In fact Opta rated England the most likely of sides to win Euro 2024 with a 19.9% chance which was higher than the likes of Germany, France and Spain as well as also Denmark and Serbia included.

England might be top of Group C on four points with one win and a draw and two points over Denmark going into their final game versus Slovenia where they can wrap up a place in the knockout rounds, but they could’ve done that last night.

Southgate’s side have been far from their best and this has already been shown during the tournament so far with their lethargic, slow robotic and unsure style of football showcased yesterday which saw them struggle to get into Denmark’s box more often than not.

After watching England so far at the tournament it’s tricky to believe that even though it was three years ago that they were the side who took the lead in the previous Euro final, before going on and losing to penalties to Italy following an untidy 1-1 draw. At the moment England look as if they are just about capable of reaching the round of 16 or quarter-finals  just to say they finished their campaign respectfully for grace and honour.

They say that friendlies are only “friendlies” but even coming into the tournament England didn’t look very reassuring after losing 1-0 to Iceland on home soil before the true test commenced.

Maybe England are playing it safe at the moment but they certainly don’t look like the team who reached the Euros 2020 final and World Cup semi-finals of 2018, a real shake up is needed to resume any hopes of a glimpse of silverware in Germany!

Liam Harding


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