Doing the impossible, Finding positives for England’s international football future

Like every England fan I am in a state of absolute shock, despair and honestly, hilarity. For a team like England with such a rich football heritage to lose to a nation which does not even have a national club division is almost beyond comprehension. It is truly laughable and astonishingly poor, but there must be reasons to believe England can do better in the world cup in 2018. After all, after the worst defeat in this great nations history, it cannot get any worse!

A fresh start

Roy HodgsonRoy Hodgson, never has a man looked so clueless over what was his best team was in a major tournament. For all of Vincente Del Bosque’s flaws at least he stuck to what he thought was his best team in the Euros, as Spain also crashed out of the tournament on the same day, all be it in less embarrassing circumstances. Throughout the tournament we struggled tactically all over the pitch, and that has to come chiefly from the management team. Roy Hodgson leaving is certainly the right move for England and now we can look forward to seeing a new face with new ideas to recover the confidence of this young squad.

A fall in expectation and pressure

In my lifetime, in every tournament, there has always been a sense of this could be our year when entering a major competition. In these championships it was reduced, but when we went 2-1 down to Iceland, the pressure still clearly got to the players who looked frightened to take chances on the pitch in the face of criticism. After this abject failure though, the expectations are bound the plummet for the Russia 2018. The media and the public will remember this loss for a long time and therefore the expectations on the players and the incoming manager should be dramatically less. Without the weight on their shoulders hopefully an England team can play with more freedom in the upcoming World Cup.

Eric DierDier and Rashford

In a very bleak European Championships two of England’s youngest players did show sparks of potential. Despite his young age, Eric Dier was vital for the team and started every game in the tournament, being one of the first names on the team sheet. Sitting in front of the back four, Dier gave the team balance, was not afraid to put in big tackles and was constantly looking to pass the ball forward. In the game against Iceland he was unfairly sacrificed for the more attack minded Wilshire at half time, but nevertheless the 22 year old had a played well throughout. Playing for Tottenham, Dier will continue to progress and improve at one of the Premier Leagues best sides and should continue to impress in an England shirt for years to come.

Marcus Rashford at only 18, has risen to the highest stage in football unbelievably quickly. He only played his first professional football game in February and in no time has earned himself a reputation as one of the rising stars in football. Of course, we said the same thing as England fans about Theo Walcott who has not hit the heights in an England or Arsenal shirt, but the potential is certainly there in the Manchester United striker. We have not seen much of him in an England shirt, but whenever he has played he has ran at opponents without fear which has seemed pretty rare recently watching an England side. Under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, Rashford will be being coached by one of the best managers in world football and will hopefully fulfil his massive potential for club and country.

A young teams redemption

Iceland celebrationsThere is no doubt that these European Championships will have an immediate negative impact on everyone involved in the campaign. However, in the face of such embarrassment the team should be inspired to prove their worth to their future manager, to the country, as well as themselves. Being such a young squad, many of the players in the side will continue to play consistently for England and the weight of this loss will hang over them. They will be hungry and determined to impress and this should push the national team forward, hopefully further than the last 16 in the next World Cup anyway.

 

England fans, who do you think should be the next England manager? To football fans outside of England what are your perceptions of the England team?

Let me know any thoughts or comments you have on the England team and thank you for reading!


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