Can England win Euro 2016?

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England are like the Arsenal of the international scene; they have some brilliant players and should be fighting for the top honours but always falter when it matters most.

It is normally arch-rivals that play a huge part in their downfall, with Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur harming their chances this season, whilst the Three Lions tend to be stopped by serial tournament conquerors Germany and Portugal.

Against Germany, England once again showed that they have the talent and determination to go all the way, just like they did in the qualification stages progressing as the only team to win all their matches, but can they be the best in Europe and lift the Henri Delaunay trophy?


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Good signs

In the 3-2 win over World Champions Germany, the Three Lions were still not at full strength, with the likes of starting XI regulars Joe Hart, Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling missing through injury.

Yet, this England team has plenty of strength in depth, and it showed against their fiercest enemies as they battled from a two-goal deficit to claim victory with three of the best Premier League players this season scoring.

Tottenham's Harry Kane gave his tribute to Johan Cruyff, who sadly passed away a few days prior to the match, by turning two defenders with the Dutchman's trademark move before coolly finishing past Manuel Neuer.

Jamie Vardy came on as a substitute late on, as manager Roy Hodgson changed the system from a 4-3-3 to a more traditional diamond formation, producing a beautiful flick to equalise before Eric Dier rounded off a terrific performance with a powerful header to send the English fans in the Olympiastadion into raptures.

Resilience and hunger

The fightback was not the only highlight of England's performance with a near-perfect defensive display in the first half that will give Hodgson some food for thought as he continues to decide his final squad ahead of the tournament in France this summer.

After going 2-0 up, many expected Germany to push on and turn it into a humiliating defeat for the Three Lions but they showed resilience and as soon as Kane pulled one back, the game was turned on its head and the Germans were struggling to get past the halfway line.

A team that are expected to be among the favourites to win the European Championships this summer, along with France and Spain, were being pegged back in their only penalty area by a side who are constant failures at major tournaments and have not won one since 1966; that is how big the win was.

Calm before the storm?

Yet, it was only a friendly and similar to a mid-season surge from Arsenal, who won five times in six league games to lead the table only to return to their inconsistent form and are now fighting to remain in the top four.

England were unbeaten in their four friendlies prior to the 2014 World Cup, including victories over Denmark and Peru, before enduring a disastrous tournament in Brazil and exiting without win.

Eight years before, they beat Argentina, Uruguay, Jamaica and Hungary on their won to the football showpiece in Germany, only to lose to Portugal at the quarter-final stage.

Can they win it?

As the old saying goes, ‘there is always a first’ and this will be the belief that England will take heading towards the summer.

They will be tested in upcoming friendlies against the likes of Turkey, Australia and Portugal before the tournament starts on 10th June and should they come through those fixtures unscathed, they will have the momentum to go far at the European Championships.

So can they win it? Certainly, there is always a chance, and with this hungry squad that is a mixture of experience and youth, the sky is the limit.

Do you think England can lift the Henri Delaunay trophy on 10th July? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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