This year’s Euro tournament provides something different than what we are used to, England are not one of the favorites. Even though England has been unsuccessful at the international level for years now, they have at least been seen as a potential team to win. Now England are stuck with a somewhat controversial managerial appointment in Roy Hodgson followed by an interesting team selection. Here is the England roster for the Euro tournament:
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Robert Green, John Ruddy.
Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Joleon Lescott, John Terry.
Midfielders: Gareth Barry, Stewart Downing, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Scott Parker, Theo Walcott, Ashley Young.
Strikers: Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck.
As you can see, this is not the most threatening lineup that you’ll see at Euro 2012. The defense should not be an issue. Joe Hart has had a good campaign in a Manchester City jersey and Gary Cahill and Joleon Lescott should be able to keep the center of defense strong. The problem for England is going to be getting goals. With Wayne Rooney suspended for the first two games of the tournament, the goal scoring will be left to Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, and Danny Welbeck. Of course midfielders and defenseman could add some scoring, but these are the pure strikers on the squad. The three scored 24 goals with seven assists playing in a combined 90 games during the Premier League season. That is not many goals produced from your strike force, especially considering Wayne Rooney scored 27 goals in 34 games this season.
The midfield is comprised of more defensive midfielders than true attacking midfielders, with the exception of Theo Walcott and Ashley Young. The midfield also has older players like Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. Another problem for the players in England jerseys , as well as their fans, is the fact that they must play France and Sweden without Rooney. France is the favored team to make it out of the group, but if England drop points to Sweden, they are unlikely to make it past the group stage of the Euro’s.
It looks as though it will be a short tournament for the England team. I do not think they will let up many goals with a solid defense and goalkeeper, I just don’t see where goals are going to come from during Wayne Rooney’s absence. Their best hope is to not concede and hope to get a goal against the run of play, similar to how Chelsea was able to win the Champions League. If they are able to get favorable results until Rooney gets back into the squad, I could see them going far and potentially surprising teams. Unfortunately, I do not see them winning either of their first two group stage games, which will ultimately lead to them failing to make it through the group stage, resulting in more heartache for England fans.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
*Credit BBC Sport for England Squad information and ESPN Soccernet for statistics.
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