Here we are again, once again England have been handed a relatively simple looking qualifying group and have waltzed through it with a 100 per cent record.
Qualifying for the Euro’s, the one major challenge so far, a trip to Switzerland resulting in a 2-0 win and celebrations all round.
But we have been here before, in 2010 England waltzed through a kind group again involving Switzerland and looked like they could realistically go far in the 2010 World Cup.
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But as per usual, they showed up with a squad including the likes of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard and flopped, coming second in what looked like the easiest group in the tournament before being destroyed by Germany 4-1
After last year’s dismal effort at the World Cup, England and Roy Hodgson simply can’t afford to have another group stage exit. If this happens, there will have to be a total revamp of not only the squad, but also of the thinking in this country on football.
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But looking to the European Championships, England can put together a very good squad for this tournament, but there are some serious doubts over whether they are good enough to go far in the competition.
However there is a case to be positive, because whilst there is an argument that England have simply been handed an easy qualifying group, there are some top sides who are having trouble in their respective qualifying groups.
The most obvious case is that of the Netherlands, after a 3-0 loss to Turkey last night the Dutch no longer have their fate in their own hands, and even with the expanded groups of Euro 2016, may not make the Championships at all.
Spain and Germany have also shown signs of fragility after unexpected losses to Slovakia and Poland respectively, whilst Italy simply do not look anywhere near as good as the team that got to the final of Euro 2012.
This therefore presents an opportunity to England, obviously the way the groups come out will decide a lot, but England should have a look at their squad and realise they have a chance to beat some of the more fancied sides, and really show there is progression in this team and that they are not the flat track bullies they have been for so many years.
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