Euro 2021: Could it finally come home for the Three Lions?
1966, the only time the “Three Lions” have ever won a major tournament. Every England fan across the country remembers the iconic picture of Queen Elizabeth handing the ‘Jules Rimet Trophy’ to the great Bobby Moore. Whether we were born around that time or not, we still claim to remember that iconic moment.
That year must’ve been a sensational year to belive alive for the England faithful. The only time that England has ever hosted a World Cup. In a sublime run, England beat rivals West Germany 4:2 after extra time.
Everyone remembers that iconic piece of commentary from Kenneth Wolstenholme, “some people are on the pitch…they think it’s all over….it is now!”
Over 96,000 fans packed inside Wembley Stadium to witness history. Since then, however, England hasn’t faired so well. The closest they’ve come to a final is the semis. Finishing third at the ’68 Euros, losing in the semi-finals at the Italy 1990 World Cup to the Germans. England reached another semi-final six years later at Euro ’96. The three lions also hosted the tournament but again lost to Germany on penalties.
Most recently, England lost to Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-final. Surely something must give?
With this year’s European Championships being delayed due to COVID-19, that means football fans will have to wait to see Europe’s best go head to head. With the majority of England’s games being played in London, that may benefit Gareth Southgate and his men.
As well as this, the delay has also helped England as it gives the upcoming, talented, youngsters another year of experience before the finals.
How they could line up:
Here’s a predicted line up for next years Euros.
That team is capable of performing well in next year’s competition. The goalkeeping place is up for grabs between Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson. In terms of the midfield selection, it’s a tough one. Henderson deserves a place, whereas the other two slots will be competed heavily by the likes of Mount, Loftus-Cheek, Maddison, Winks, Grealish, the list goes on. With regards to the attacking trio, that speaks for itself. There’s no need to change it as those three men will start.
This is where England will benefit next year. There are so many talented prospects coming through, it’s frightening. Southgate will look to add the likes of Foden, Saka, Hudson-Odoi, Greenwood, and Rice. It’s ridiculous the number of players coming through.
Mason Greenwood is only 18 and has scored 16 goals for Manchester United this season and is looking to establish himself as a first-team regular. Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka is another talented, versatile, player that Southgate may look to, who is currently lighting up the Premier League.
However, it’s very easy for Southgate to throw these players in and make a mess of things next year. Should Liverpool win the league again next season, Southgate must build the team around the Liverpool players in the national side as the system will potentially guide the three lions all the way.
The Three Lions’ Fixtures For Euro 2021:
England begins next year’s tournament against Croatia, with the three lions looking to avenge their defeat to the Croats in 2018. They then face the winner of the “Play-Off C” which is either- Norway, Scotland, Serbia, or Israel. They end the Group Stage against the Czech Republic.
However, the Round of 16 won’t be easy. Should England qualify, they will face either- Germany, Portgual or France. No pressure, Gareth.
With that being said, the England faithful is very optimistic, as per usual, of their chances next year. Should some of the talented youngsters make it to the Euros, then who knows, England could go all the way.