England’s Stars Need to Step Up at Euros

England lost 1-0 to Iceland in an international friendly last Friday at Wembley. It was not the kind of warm-up they had in mind before going into the match before the European Championships, which gets underway in Germany next Friday, June 14.
Friday’s defeat meant that the Three Lions have now lost two of their four international fixtures this year so far and won only one. Despite boasting a number of top players in his squad, Gareth Southgate will have a lot to worry about ahead of the Euros.

England’s Stars Often Underwhelming for the National Team

England has a number of superstars in their squad like Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane, but they have at times failed to transform their club-form for the national side. Foden, who has been adjudged the Player of the Year for the 2023-24 season, has scored only four goals in 34 matches for the Three Lions.
Bellingham, the Player of the Year at La Liga, did not play against Iceland, and has scored only thrice in 29 matches for the national side. He has not even gone close to displaying the level as a No. 10 as he has for Real Madrid. The same is true about Foden, who is surrounded by top players in a Manchester City side. Statistics can be misleading at times, but in this case they reflect Foden and Bellingham’s impact on the national side quite properly.
Kane has been a very good performer for the national team, but will not get too many more opportunities in the major tournaments for England. Hence, time is ripe for him to come up with yet another string of consistent performance for them. England will depend a lot on him to score their goals.
In the past, too, England has seen a number of their stars falter at the highest level in international football. For example, the likes of Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and David Beckham flattered to deceive in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

England’s Performance in Major Competitions Not Impressive

England has failed to win any major international trophy since winning the World Cup in 1966. It has been a six-decade-long heartbreak for them. However, under the tutelage of Gareth Southgate, they have gone close to winning trophies, having reached the semifinal in the World Cup in 2018 and the final of the European Championships in 2021.
However, England’s somewhat brittle defence and the apparent lack of cohesion among their stars upfront could be a disturbing feature for them. Unless Southgate gets his plans right, which includes deciding upon the correct formation for them, the Three Lions will struggle to end their trophy-drought.
England does not boast too many experienced players in their defensive set-up, with Harry Maguire missing the bus to Germany. Kyle Walker and John Stones are the experienced ones in their defence, with Luke Shaw and Jordan Henderson also being absent and the likes of Declan Rice and Kobbie Mainoo being quite inexperienced at the international level.
In such a scenario, it remains to be seen how far the Three Lions can go in the upcoming tournament. Maybe someone as young as Cole Palmer or Anthony Gordon will rise to the occasion and make the tournament memorable for the Three Lions.

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