Times England Has Disappointed At The Euros

The 2024 Euros are upon us, and once again there are doubts over whether England will be able to ‘bring it home’.

For many years, England has never fully impressed. Whenever they have, it would slip away from them. For one, The Three Lions have only gotten to the finals of the Euros once in their history. This was during the 2020 Euros, which they lost to Italy on penalties.

There have been a great number of disappointing moments from the England national football team over the years, but there are some that do stand out.


England went into the 1988 Euros as strong contenders in their group stage. The media put a lot of high expectations on Bobby Robson’s team. Their first game of the tournament was against the Republic of Ireland, which was expected to be an easy win for England. However, England conceded within the first six minutes of the game.

The Three Lions went on to lose every other of their games in the group stage. Their group stage consisted of the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands and the Soviet Union. England’s biggest loss came from the Netherlands and the Soviet Union, with both games ending 3-1. Granted, those two sides ended up facing each other in the final of the tournament.

England was quite relaxed before that first game, their confidence high. However, they were unable to break through Ireland’s tactics and missed chances that could have won them the game.


For the next edition of the Euros, England faced a similar fate. Gareth Taylor’s squad faced Sweden, France, and Denmark, who went on to win the tournament. The Three Lions did not win a single game during the group stage, with two draws and a loss to Sweden.

Injuries were England’s biggest issue that summer. Another issue is that a good number of the players had little to no experience in major tournaments, putting them at a further disadvantage.

Taylor’s team had the chance to go through to the knockout stage in their final game of the group stage. Taking the lead against Sweden as early as the fourth minute, hope was rejuvenated. However, as the game went on, it was Sweden who were able to convert opportunities into goals. The game ended 2-1, and England headed home for the second time in a row.


The disappointment in the 2016 Euros was not a group-stage elimination. England was second in their group which consisted of Wales, Slovakia and Russia. Gareth Southgate’s team had a win and two draws in that stage.

The Three Lions went on to face Iceland in the Round of 16. It was an expected easy win for England. The first few minutes of the game was in favour of England, as they were awarded a penalty which Wayne Rooney converted four minutes in. However, less than 120 seconds later, Iceland equalized. Then, 12 minutes later, Iceland scored the third and final goal of the game.

It was a true shock, as England had a lot of experience in major tournaments. Iceland, on the other hand, had no prior experience in any major tournament.

More Disappointment to Come?

The only time ‘it has come home’ in Europe’s prestigious competition was back in 2022. That was when the women’s team – the Lionesses – won the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euros against Germany in Wembley. The men’s team may not be able to replicate this triumph.

Following the Three Lions’ 2024 friendlies before the start of this year’s tournament, it may not come as a surprise to many if the poor performances continue. England has only won two games in their last six, with multiple subpar performances.

The chances of England going far into the 2024 tournament let alone winning it are looking quite slim. Gareth Southgate may be the main person to blame for England’s success or rather lack of in recent years. It may be time for England and Southgate to part ways, and it seems rather likely as of now.

Southgate himself has said that he is likely to leave his position as England manager if The Three Lions are unable to win Euro 2024.

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