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Englands Euro 2012 Summary

Rewind three weeks to before the tournament, and most England fans (not the fairweather every two years there is a tournament so i’ll put a flag outside my house and paint my face for the boozer England fans) expectations were as low as I’ve ever seen for a major tournament, a new manager and key players missing the hope was that we would get out of a potentially tricky but winnable group. We won our group but never really played well (all good sides do this apparently).

The quarter final that awaited was to be the Italians which we were all happy about as we avoided Spain. The week building up to the game was all about Pirlo and the damage he could cause us if we give him too much space. Stevie G and Hodgson both saying in press conferences that we need to stop him. To every person watching Sundays game it was more than apparent that we didn’t stop him, he had far too much of the ball and literally dictated the game from start to finish. I’m not having a go at Roy Hodgson in particular as he has only had a few weeks with the squad but I do think he’s given us back a bit of fight that we never seemed to have under Capello but from the moment he picked his team with only two men in the middle of the park it was obvious that Pirlo was going to have the effect on the game he did. 4-4-2 doesn’t ever seem to work in International Football I think we are the only team to play it and its almost prehistoric, the fact that Italy had four men in the middle with Pirlo, Montolivio and Marchisio and De Rossi sat in front of the back four gave them the advantage in the middle of the park as they were essentially 4 against 2. This meant they controlled this area thus meaning that we never managed to get out wide players into the game. In the end we battled to a 0-0 and bravely went out the English way on penalties.

I know hindsight is a great thing but I would have liked to have seen England with a midfield 3 of Gerrard, Parker and Milner (I see his game more suited to a centre mid role than a winger) If we had done this we could have had Scotty Parker Man marking Pirlo with Milner sitting and Gerrard getting forward more. I’m not saying it would have worked but we may have shown a bit more going forward had we done this.

Overall I think we have improved since South Africa but only because we have got the passion for the Three Lions back, technically we are a million miles behind the leading Nations like Germany, Spain and Italy. Our ball retention is almost laughable but also the ability to press teams when they have the ball is non existent. We never had time on the ball against Italy as they closed us down as soon as we got the ball, Rooney especially had about 3 Italians on him every time he got the ball in the final third, we on the other hand just let them play with it.

There were positives that came out of the Tournament, Joe Hart’s performances cemented his place as number 1 and a top class goalie, Lescott matured as an international defender and Danny Welbeck showed signs that hes suited to playing in an England shirt. Gerrard was a good captain but because of the way we have played he seemed to be chasing the ball more than trying to dictate play as he should have been. Overall I think we can be proud of the boys for getting to where they did but if we ever want to win a major International tournament then we need to change the formation and the style we play, this isn’t going to happen overnight it will take time but the perfect blueprint for this is the Germans after the debacle of Euro 2000.

Thanks for reading my view (or rant depends how you see it), if you don’t  agree with me feel free to comment below.


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  1. Anonymous

    25 June, 2012 at 22:57

    Well said!

  2. levi henry

    28 June, 2012 at 08:49

    Hi, I agree that the german model is a good one,since 2000 they’ve contested both world and euro finals,but they’ve always had a great team ethic. england don’t,fair to say. so it could be a decade before we see a real change. england’s 66 victory was never built on,ramsey rested on his laurols and the english football missed its chance to capitalise. In hindsight englands 66 triumph can be compared to greece’s 04 success. both r one offs which occured due to exceptional circumstance and luck. no england manager has dared to show the boldness,belief and almost arrogance that ramsey did when he stated england would win in 66. English players lack that will keep the ball,temper the build-up and close down the oppositionan to impose themselves on any of the top ten teams,england need to sacrifice the need to entertain joe public,and focus on long term strategy to please themselves first and the supporters second, they may get bored but patience is a virtue they need to learn in order to appreciate success when it comes. Thank you.

  3. andreww1980

    28 June, 2012 at 16:54

    Good Comment that Levi, a lot of what you said I agree with, not sure about 66 being a fluke I wasnt around then but from what ive seen / read it was a very good side with some good players. We need to hone the technical ability of our footballers from a young age. I like the concept of Futsal, a lot of the better technical football nations use this to make there players better when there on the ball. Dont see why we dont get kids playing it in School, hopefully when the FA finally open the National Football Centre they may try and adopt this approach. Fingers crossed.



  4. onetouchpassing

    28 June, 2012 at 18:03

    Nice article, fully agree with what you’ve said about the 4-4-2 and going with 3 in midfield would probably have been better. I’ve actually just posted a bit on the history of the 4-4-2 on my blog ,if anyone is interested. I don’t really agree that the 66′ World Cup was a fluke Levi, but I do see where your coming from when you say that England managers need to be bolder. Once again, good read. Thanks!

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