Three Englishmen to Look Out for at Euro 2020
England are one of the favourites to win Euro 2020. To achieve that feat they need key personnel to be on form and making the right decisions. Let's look at three key figures who if in top form over the coming month could finally see England win a major trophy again.
There were many who were critical of the appointment of Gareth Southgate as the England boss. He had an impressive playing career with 57 appearances for England. His managerial career hadn't been such a success though. Ironically, Southgate's first managerial appointment was at his former club Middlesbrough (where England played their last two internationals). He replaced Steve McLaren who had become the new manager of England. Little did Southgate know what lay ahead of him in the future.
Southgate was given the job despite not having the needed coaching badges. He didn't do too well and the Premier League side were relegated and Southgate was sacked. He had no managerial job for four years until in 2013 he took over as the manager of the England Under-21 side.
There wasn't a great deal of success but he did get his team through to the UEFA Under-21 championship finals, In 2016 Roy Hodgson left his job as manager of the senior team after a dreadful performance at Euro 2016. Southgate said he didn't want to replace Hodgson and Sam Allardyce was appointed. He lasted one game and in stepped Southgate as caretaker boss. After some good results the man who had only managed one club side became the national manager.
Southgate has had success with England. A run to the last four in the 2018 World Cup made him and his waistcoat famous. Then came another semi-final in the 2018/19 Nations League. They had no problems getting to Euro 2020 and their bid to play in the 2022 World Cup has got off to a good start. Southgate is likely to remain manager until after that World Cup. A poor Euro 2020 might change that. A win though would soon see him become Sir Gareth Southgate.
Winning teams need a top striker and that's what Harry Kane is for England. The first thing that Gareth Southgate probably thinks of in the morning is 'Kane is fit isn't he?' The Tottenham (but for how long?) striker has just won the Golden Boot in the Premier League. Not bad for a player in a team that didn't finish in the top four.
It's been an important season for Kane. Not only did he score plenty of goals, but he was into double figures for assists too. Southgate will hope that he can bring that to the England side this summer. A few goals would be great but creating chances for the other talented players in England's team would be great news.
Kane scored 23 goals in the 2020/21 Premier League season and over 30 goals in all competitions. That was his best haul since the 2017/18 season so he's a player every defence should fear this summer. 54 internationals have seen Kane score 34 goals. 2018 and 2019 saw twenty of those goals scored and he won the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup.
2020 and 2021 haven't gone so well though with only two goals in nine games. Kane has to increase that strike rate if England want to do well in this tournament. He's fit and has a good chance of getting back into the scoring form of a few years ago.
Here's another player who may be negotiating a transfer once Euro 2020 comes to an end. He made his England debut six years ago and now has 61 caps. For several years Sterling was a frustrating member of the England team. He kept on being picked but where were the goals?
Two goals in his first 35 internationals was a terrible return for the Manchester City player. He did contribute in other ways and that's why he kept on being picked. Finally the goals began to flow for Sterling and he proved his critics wrong. Two goals in a 2018 Nations League win in Spain ended three years without a goal.
2019 saw that goal drought forgotten as he scored eight goals in nine games. That included a hat-trick in the home win over the Czech Republic. What wouldn't England give for a repeat of that form when hosting the Czechs in their Euro 2020 group? Only two goals have come in five games in 2020 and 2021.
One was a late winner away in Iceland in the Nations League. Sterling scored 10 goals in 31 Premier League games last season, the fourth time in a row he's been in double figures. He remains an important part of the England set-up, can he strike form in the next month?
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