What are England’s Chances of Winning Euro 2012?
At odds of 12:1 or 13:1 with Paddy Power, Roy Hodgson’s England team head into Euro 2012 as 5th favourites, behind Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and France respectively.
For any England fan, these might look like impressive odds. Hart, Gerrard, Young, Rooney and Parker. All of these players could make the fantasy Premier League starting IX. We even have an easy qualification round in Group D, with France, Sweden and Poland. Many of our players should be brimming with confidence following arecord Champions League and Premier League victory.
Why You Shouldn’t Fall for the Bait!
As always, the problem with England heading into a major International tournament is that everyone starts talking them up. Remember that we were 2nd favourites in the World Cup 2006 and 4th favourites at 2010.
But at the same time, this is an England team that have failed to impress at major tournaments. Ignore the results from the Euro 2012 qualifications and friendlies (which is what FIFA World Rankings are based on), England have consistently failed to turn up at International Tournaments.
We need to stop looking at the individual quality of our players and start assessing how we perform as a team. If you took the names off the shirts, I think you could mistake England for a lesser team such as Switzerland or Austria.
To illustrate my point, Rooney (26) is a world-class striker and heading into the peak of his career. He’s won Champions League and Premier League trophies for his club and even scored in the Champions League Final 20011 against Barcelona. However, he has failed to score in the last 2 major tournaments for England. He’s also missing the first 2 group games against Poland and France (which are pivotal to England qualifying) due to suspension.
Even for a 5th favourite team, England’s attacking options are pretty poor, totally dependant on Wellbeck, Carrol and Defoe upfront, who have scored just 21 goals between them in the Premier Leauge this season. Let’s not forget Downing, who has massive underperformed since his 16 million pound move to Liverpool last year, failing to score or set up a single goal in the Premier League. Gerrard, Hodgson’s choice of captain, has also struggled to get into Liverpool’s first team this season due to injuries. When you look at where Liverpool finished this season, it’s amazing to see that Johnson, Gerrard, Downing and Carroll could all be starting selection for England on the 11th June.
But that’s completely besides the point too. The point that strongly needs to be made is that England fail to work together as a unit in major tournaments. Every time I’ve watched an England game at Wembley the players look as though they’ve never even met each other before. Lots of sqaure balls, little movement and a lack of confidence has been a good description of England in recent years. Players have also looked exhausted from a competive domestic season.
Injuries and discipline has been a problem too, with Ferdinand missing the World Cup 2010 one week before it started, Rooney heading into World Cup 2010 recovering from a toe injury, Owen injuring himself in the first 3 minutes at the Germany World Cup 2006, and now Barry, Wilshere and Walker all out of this summer’s Euros.
In conclusion, England have been the most under-performing team of any major tournament in the last decade. They always run into tournaments with a good first-team but lack the squad quality, flexibility and finishing of the teams ranked above them.
If I had to put my money on a team to win, Germany seem very promising at 3:1. Germany have a tradition of performing well in the Euros, having won the tournament 3 times and coming runners-up 3 times, most recently in Euro 2008. They have a very strong, discplined and organised team, with world-class players such as Mario Gomez, Mesut Ozil, Neu, Lahm and Schweinsteiger to choose from.
No related posts.