England Euro 2016 – Road to Glory?

By on May 2, 2016

England Wayne Rooney

Euro 2016 Qualifying

England enjoyed one of their most successful competitive campaigns during qualifying for Euro 2016. Key to England’s qualification, and to Roy Hodgson’s plans, was the presence and consistent performances of the England Captain Wayne Rooney. The Three Lions started the road to France way back in September 2014 with a professional 2-0 win over Switzerland, followed by a 5-0 demolition of the ever vulnerable San Marino. With Danny Welbeck scoring the goals in the first match, it was then the turn of England’s talisman to take control of scoring duties. He clinically found the back of the net in the next 7 consecutive qualifiers, which included victories over Estonia, Slovenia and Switzerland. These must have been emotional matches for the England manager, as he had been in charge of the Switzerland National team during the 1994 World Cup in the USA. Not to be outdone though, Welbeck has played a very important role in Roy Hodgson’s England set up. The Arsenal player is never dropped by choice by the former Liverpool manager, and has only missed out on more England caps with a serious injury he received on England duty.

Negative Reaction

There has been some negative reaction to England’s qualifying campaign due to the relatively weak grade of opposition facing the England National team. So if you are thinking of backing England to go all the way this Summer, you’d be well advised to check out the latest free bets at euro2016freebets.com to minimize your risk! But all they can do is beat the opponents put before them, and England have done this in a professional manner. In an unprecedented campaign, The England National Team won all ten qualifying matches. The closest they came to defeat was in an exciting 3-2 win over the inspired (on the night) Slovenia. It looked as though Slovenia had gained a creditable draw, but up came the England Captain to save the day with an 87th minute winner. Thus ensuring the most successful qualifying campaign in England’s history.

Key Players and Promising Hopefuls

A couple of the key forwards have been mentioned, but equally important to the National team’s progress has been the consistent performances of Everton’s solid center back Phil Jagielka, and Manchester United’s titan at the back, Chris Smalling. There have also been some exciting developments in terms of the midfield engine room. Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli has been a revelation this season. The dynamic midfielder has been key to the Spurs charge on the Premier League title this term. His ability to make decisive and penetrative runs from the midfield area has been a joy to watch this season. Crucially for the National team, it looks as though he will translate these unique attributes from club football to the World stage. And as an added bonus, he’s capable of scoring crucial goals as well.

Who’s On the Plane To France, and Who’s Left Behind?

So Euro 2016 starts on the 10th June, and the crucial question for every England player is ‘Will I be on the plane to France?’

Some players will sleep easier than others with that question hanging over their heads. Absolutely guaranteed to be going to England’s luxurious training complex in Chantilly with be the England Captain and record goalscorer, Wayne Rooney. Another player certain to be on the plane to France will be the Arsenal forward, Danny Welbeck. The energetic forward has been injured for large parts of this season but is now back and playing to his former levels of consistency. He should prove to be an ideal foil for the other England forwards. Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy will also be on the plane, but whether they will start or not is up to how the England Manager sees the setup of his forward line. Will Rooney play up-top or in midfield, questions only Roy Hodgson can answer.

In midfield Michael Carrick will certainly go, his tidy passing and discipline will be ideal, especially in tandem with a more energetic midfielder like Delle Ali. Also in the frame will be Jordan Henderson and the ever present James Milner. He will provide ideal cover as he can play many positions including centre midfield, the wing and even full-back. The centre backs will be Phil Jagielka and Chris Smalling. And of course, Joe Hart picks himself as England’s number one shot-stopper.

I think Andy Carroll will miss out, the West Ham striker has too many injury concerns. He is without doubt the best header of the ball England possess, but this ability is no good if you’re constantly on the treatment table. Also touch and go will be the appearance of Daniel Sturridge. The Liverpool striker has come back from injury recently, but looks light years away from the voracious goalscorer of the last few seasons. Also sweating will be Theo Walcott and Raheem Sterling. Sterling has been a shadow of his former self since moving to Manchester City, and Walcott seems to have turned into the ‘nearly man’ of Arsenal and England.

In Conclusion

The squad going to France will be a group of players (and a Manager) who have engineered the most successful qualifying campaign England have ever enjoyed. Can we win it?

We shall see……….

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