Will England get goals in Euro 2016?

Will England get goals in Euro 2016?

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It seems that the new crop of youngsters has finally solved England’s goal-scoring problem. It’s a long time since we’ve seen English strikers dominate in the Premier League, however, the emergence of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy over the last 18 months has boosted the options for Roy Hodgson’s England squad. For the last 5+ years, we’ve had to rely on Wayne Rooney as the main striking option. Now Kane and Vardy who topped the Premier League scoring chart, along with Daniel Sturridge and 18-year-old Marcus Rashford all provide viable options for Hodgson’s side. Danny Welbeck would have almost certainly been in this list as well if it was not for his injury.

In the last Euros (2012), England managed 5 goals before being knocked out by Italy in the Quarter Finals on penalties. It was considered the last chance for England’s Golden Generation to achieve something. The World Cup (Brazil, 2014) was almost a step backwards, and was considered a complete disaster for England. Their tally of one point and 2 goals was enough to knock them out of the tournament after just the second game – much to the fan’s disappointment after the ever-constant media hype. However, there were glimpses of a regenerated England team in these games. Some of the older squad members had been pushed out by the newer generation and the team showed a hint of what might be on offer over the coming years.

Fast-forward to 2016. We are a few weeks away from the start of the Euros and although it doesn’t mean much, England got the most points (30) and goals (31) of any team in the qualifiers. They also had the joint best defensive record along with Spain (3 goals let in). Are things looking up for England in terms of goalscoring? Will they see more success at Euro 2016 with this new crop of strikers? Bigfreebet.com offers some tips on this, plus lots of free bets for the tournament.

The team is obviously not a finished article and is still in transition from the veteran players, however things look positive if Roy gets a few things right.

He needs to look at the team and not individual players. It’s very easy to look at the stats and pick players on emotions rather than looking at the team as a whole. If a player is playing well for his club, it doesn’t mean that his form will transfer over to the national team. There are various things to consider here. First off, does the team set-up play to the player’s strengths? If not, don’t play him just because he has done well for his club. We saw this with Jamie Vardy against Turkey. Although he got his goal, the team doesn’t play like Leicester do and he ended up being pretty anonymous in the game. It’s about winning games rather than including a name just because it looks good on paper. Also to be considered is the player’s partnership with other team members. Harry Kane and Dele Alli have formed a nice attacking partnership of late, and it’s been proven in the past that these kind of partnerships make all the difference! It’s much more important to get the players linking up than having the big names in there. Look at the Gerrard – Lampard issue that lasted for years. There was never a way to get them both in while playing to all their strengths. The definition of a star is that they stand out from the rest of the players. A team of stars doesn’t really work, as they clash. You need a good quality spine of the team, then a couple of stars to join it all together – any more, and their strengths cancel each other out. Finally, they need a strong captain. With most of the England squad members under 26, it’s a very young team – only 4 players have 30 caps or more, and 15 of the quad have under 20! Rooney, the current captain was absent in the recent game against Turkey and the game lacked a leader. He’s in the latter stages of his England career, so it’s important that someone is ready to take his place when the time comes. Gary Cahill, the current vice captain doesn’t captain his club like Rooney does, so lacks some experience there. His contributions will become more important now with Rooney less of a certainty in the starting line-up.

So, if all goes well, and the England team is set up to play to their strengths and not just include the star names, things could go well. They now have strikers that often appear on the score sheets – it just depends on their mindset and the luck that comes with tournament games!

Amit Singh is the editor of Think Football and contributes for a number of other football websites, follow on twitter @Think_Football