Andy Cole thinks England will do well just to make the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.
Roy Hodgson’s men are rated as fourth favourites for glory at the tournament in France – which starts on Friday – after winning all 10 of their qualifiers.
Despite the positivity caused by a run of five wins from six games coming into the competition, a sequence that includes victories over France, Germany and Portugal, Cole is not optimistic over their hopes.
“If England get to the quarters they would have done well,” former England striker Cole told Omnisport.
“I don’t think they have got enough to win the tournament. If you look at the group that they came through in qualifying, they were expected to win that comfortably and they did.
“But when you look at all the other nations player for player, what players would you take out the English team and put in the Spanish or German team? I think you could most probably name two players if that, so that is where you look at the quality of the other teams.
“When it comes to tournaments it is very difficult to have the mentality to win things. That is the toughest thing and every player wants to win, but I’m not sure England have enough quality to go out and win the tournament.
“I know people are questioning defensive areas at the moment, but that’s the England team for you. If it’s not the defence it’s people questioning your midfield or your strikers.”
Hodgson’s side have been drawn in Group B for the tournament along with Russia, Slovakia and Wales.
Cole has enjoyed seeing England’s younger talents play a key role ahead of the showpiece and hopes the presence of a more inexperienced squad will ease the pressure on them.
He added: “England have finally gone with a younger generation. The old guard has been eased out or retired and that is breath of fresh air because I think the older generation had a duty to step aside.
“The squad is a lot younger and inexperienced. You can go and enjoy the tournament.
“It’s a great opportunity to enjoy it, get as far as we can and prepare for the World Cup qualification and see if we can do anything [in 2018]. It is about getting experience of being involved at a major tournament.”
Asked who were his favourites for the Euros, Cole replied: “For me the usual suspects – Germany and Spain.
“France could be up there as the home nation – they are very strong and have strikers who can score goals. I would not look any further than those three.”
Cole was speaking courtesy of New Era Global Sports.
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