Can England win Euro 2016?
September 08, 2015
With a 100% record in their qualifying group, England are almost certain to take pride of place in the European Championship tournament in France next year. While this is positive news, it is sure to trigger a rise in expectations among fans and the media, with England suddenly heralded as potential world beaters with the quality to lift the 2016 crown. As is the way with English football, this level of expectation will continue to rise until the dawn of the tournament itself, heaping pressure on the playing squad and proving too significant a burden to bear.
Repeating History: Why England will Struggle to win Euro 2016
Historically, this is the pattern that has plagued the English team for generations. Every major tournament in recent times has brought significant disappointment, which tends to herald a rebuilding process by the time the next round of qualifiers come around. Once England begin to perform better during the qualifying and record positive results on a consistent basis (as they generally do), however, fans began to dream of a successful tournament side. So even though the English team continues to repeat negative history and shows no signs of competing with the world’s best teams, they will continue to be built-up before the inevitable fall.
While it has yet to be seen whether or not expectation levels will rise as high as they usually do this time out, it is unlikely that England will win in 2016. It is even optimistic to say that have the players to win, which was a claim often heard during the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ of the new millennium. Although there is a nucleus of a talented squad and skilful youngsters such as Ross Barkley and Jack Wilshere claiming regular places in the team, an inexperienced defence, mental weakness and an underlying technique will continue to diminish England’s chances of tournament success.
The Importance of Planning
Ultimately, the question of whether or not England can win in 2016 is redundant. As Greece proved in 2004, any team can win a major international tournament, but the fact remains that England’s chances are decidedly slim. Instead, Roy Hodgson and his team should focus on developing the current crop of young players (including the few who starred in the recent, ill-fated U-21 campaign) and look to build a potent, technically adept team by the time that the 2018 World Cup comes around.