Football News Update: Euro 2024, Champions League, and Beyond

The road to the 2024 European Championship has been a bumpy one for the England national team. With just two wins from their last seven matches, Gareth Southgate’s side would be relegation candidates if this were a club league.

The team’s star striker, Harry Kane, has been a cause for concern. The England captain missed Bayern Munich’s final three matches and doesn’t look fit, having barely touched the ball against Serbia and appearing statuesque against Denmark. The question now is, are England carrying their all-time leading scorer?

England’s performances have been even worse, with no recognizable style of play and a lack of discernible patterns beyond passing the ball to Bukayo Saka and hoping. As Kane admitted, “We’re struggling with and without the ball.” In other words, the team is really struggling overall.

Southgate’s ability to rouse his troops has also come into question. England were crying out for a rallying call at half-time against Denmark, but instead re-emerged devoid of energy. The manager also seems unable to unlock the consistent club-level performances from his players.

The starting XI against Denmark proved remarkably unbalanced, with a chasm existing between the Declan Rice/Trent Alexander-Arnold pivot and Jude Bellingham. This imbalance could be exploited by better teams than Denmark, and the deep positioning of the defense has led to a concerning gap between the rearguard and midfield.

The absence of Harry Maguire’s leadership has also been noted, as John Stones doesn’t seem able to exert the same authority in an England shirt. Additionally, the tactical gamble of including the injured Luke Shaw as the only recognized left-back for the Euro 2024 squad has raised eyebrows.

As the rest of the tournament has been so good, England’s labored and lethargic displays have only highlighted their struggles. The lack of football intelligence, such as persisting with a slow buildup from the back even on a treacherous pitch, has been a further cause for concern.

With the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the 2026 FIFA World Cup on the horizon, England will need to address these issues quickly if they are to mount a serious challenge on the international stage. The upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers will be a crucial test for Gareth Southgate and his team.

๐Ÿ”— Source