Sunday, December 8, 2019

England’s attacking options gives hope of success at Euro 2020

David Nugent in Editorial, European Championships 18 Nov 2019

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England finished their Euro 2020 campaign on Sunday evening with a 4-0 victory over Kosovo. The victory was just another standard one for Gareth Southgate’s team, despite three of the four goals coming in the last 11 minutes. The Three Lions have blown away most their opponents in Group A of qualifying, scoring at least four goals in seven of their eight qualifiers.

The top scorers in qualifying

Considering that England has scored 37 goals in Group A, it is unsurprising that they have been the top scorers in qualifying. Southgate’s team have shown a ruthlessness not always shown by England teams in the past.

The current team always want more and do not seem to rest on their laurels. Striker and captain Harry Kane has scored 12 times in the eight group games. The 26-year-old’s form has not been great for Tottenham this season, but he has thrived for the national side.

It is hard for Kane not to score goals when you look at the players there to supply him. Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling would likely get into any club team in the world, arguably as would Kane himself. The former Liverpool star is fast becoming an elite player. On his day he is highly difficult to stop.

Then there is Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, who seems to have regained his confidence in recent weeks. It is easy to forget he is still only 22. The youngster has impressed in the current international break.

At 19 years of age, Jadon Sancho is still labelled with the wonderkid tag. The youngster’s form has slipped of late for Dortmund. However, as a young player, it is his first real lull in form. He has looked lively for Southgate’s team, without showing his best form in a white England shirt.

Youngsters also pushing for a place

While Sancho and Rashford are youngsters, they have cemented their players in the squad, if not in the starting line-up, as they seem to be in direct competition for a spot on the opposite wing to Sterling. There are other young attacking players pushing for places in the squad and even team. While Mason Mount and James Maddison are considering midfielders, they are usually found in the opposition half.

Both have enjoyed excellent seasons at club level. If they continue to impress in the Premier League, then they are likely to keep their spots in the squad, as the pair offer something different from the other players available to the England boss.

Then there are the maverick skills of Chelsea starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi. The winger made his second start for England against Kosovo but struggled to make an impact. He gave the ball away too much and it definitely wasn’t his day. He is still young, though and he is on a learning curve, especially as it was only his third international appearance.

Less has been said about Hudson-Odoi’s teammate Tammy Abraham. The 22-year-old scored his first international goal against Montenegro, having scored ten times this season in the Premier League with Chelsea.

The youngster is unlikely to displace Kane as England’s first-choice striker, but he is certainly an option if Gareth Southgate’s side needs a goal, as he has shown he is more than capable in front of goal.

Question marks over the rest of the team

No doubt most teams in the world would be pleased to have such good attacking options heading into a big international tournament. For England, attack may well be the best form of defence at Euro 2020, as there are big question marks over other areas of the team, mainly at centre-back.

However, despite those defensive question marks, the Three Lions are still second favourites to win Euro 2020 at odds of 7/2. Those odds are likely based on those attacking options.

As an England fan, those attacking options are encouraging. It remains to be seen if England can end their long wait for success in the international game.

Will England’s attacking options be enough for Gareth Southgate’s team to win Euro 2020?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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