Opinion piece: England can’t go on like this for the rest of their Euro 2024 campaign

An embarrassed Harry Kane after England failed to beat Slovenia in their final Euro 24 group stage game.

ENGLAND has arguably been involved in three of the worse games of Euro 2024 so far, this is something which surely not only the people of this Nation have questioned.

Gareth Southgate’s near enough chosen team every time have looked like one of the most shambolic sides in the tournament. The Three Lions just about beat Serbia 1-0 in their opening group stage match last week, against a side which is currently sat 32nd in FIFA’s football rankings. They’re still a team which should be tackled with ease by an arguably ageing England team overall, who have failed in recent years at their peak to claim an International honour.

England started on a wobbly foot versus Denmark on Thursday night in their second group stage game and conceded a close range shot inside only the first minute, struggling with the fundamental basics of football in failing to get a number of consecutive passes together.  However they started to build some momentum with Harry Kane slotting in the opener after 18 minutes before England dropped off letting Denmark back into the game, who would eventually equalise just before halftime with a freak shot on goal from outside the box. There’s enough quality in England’s side to of retaliated and gone onto win the game but as it went on we could only pray for a succession of shots on target (which was an issue) yet alone a winner, before a 1-1 draw was settled. Even though the Danish are a decent side who made England work hard in the previous Euros at Wembley to reach the final, they are far from favourites going into the ongoing tournament. In fact Opta rated England the most likely of sides to win Euro 2024 with a 19.9% chance which was higher than the likes of Germany, France and Spain as well as also Denmark and Serbia included.

Last night the 0-0 against Slovenia was arguably one of England’s worse performances at a major tournament since they were hanged 2-1 versus Iceland at Euros 2016 in the round of 16, unexpectedly.

Moments after Ragnar Sigurdsson equalised for Iceland before his country dumped England out of Euro 16 by shock.

England might’ve finished top of Group C, but they’re certainly fortunate to have done so especially had they of come up against the likes of Spain who are the only team so far to of won all their games in the tournament.  (This included a narrow 1-0 victory over current European Championship holders Italy). Or even Germany who despite drawing 1-1 with Switzerland annihilated Scotland 5-1 to get the Euros underway!

Slovakia on paper should be a walk in the park on Sunday in the round of 16 for a side which has at least reached the quarter-finals of two World Cups and one Euro since Southgate took rein in 2016. However even advancing beyond the early stages of the knockout rounds looks daunting so far for England who failed to beat a Slovenia who were elated just to sit back and frustrate The Three Lions for a draw to reach the next round of the Euros-just about!

Southgate’s side have been far from their best and this has already been shown during the tournament so far with their lethargic, slow robotic and unsure style of football showcased in all three of their games.

After watching England so far at the tournament it’s tricky to believe that even though it was three years ago that they were the side who took the lead in the previous Euro final, before going on and losing to penalties to Italy following an untidy 1-1 draw. At the moment England look as if they are only just about capable of reaching the round of 16 or quarter-finals  just so they can say they finished their campaign respectfully for grace and honour.

They say that friendlies are only “friendlies” but even coming into the tournament England didn’t look very reassuring after losing 1-0 to Iceland on home soil before the true test commenced.

Maybe England are playing it safe at the moment but they certainly don’t look like the team who reached the Euros 2020 final and World Cup semi-finals of 2018, a real shake up is needed to resume any hopes of a glimpse of silverware in Germany!