Is This England's Tournament?

By Desmond Ekwueme

Posted  50 Views updated 4 months ago

England's biggest football achievement was the 1966 World Cup win in their backyard. Ever since they have been nearly men at the international or global stage.

Their long wait for honour has degenerated to the continental scene where they have literally nothing to jubilate or celebrate about.

England has never won the European Championship or Euros. Manager after manager, they have struggled to build a Three Lions side that will give their teeming fans something to live with aside the glory of 55years ago

Gareth Southgate started building his team with young players. He was initially criticised and even condemned for selecting "kids" and leaving out "experienced" players.

But game after game....and tournament after tournament, the confidence of his players or team grew and, his critics began to appreciate his rebuilding process and exercise.

Now he has led the team to a quarter-final berth in the ongoing Euro. Beating Germany in the Round of 16 was no mean feat and when it is considered that it was via a scintillating 2-0 win, the hopes of revival for the Three Lion grows in leaps and bounds.

But critics insist that despite the win over Germany that this England squad cannot go all the way to lift Euro 2020 trophy.

They say the brand of football played by Southgate's team without a mercurial player cannot guarantee them winning this tournament.

But true England fans say, with all the countries with top stars or mercurial players crashing out of this tournament, it means it's not about having stars but a team or squad of committed and discipline players just like Switzerland displayed against France.

With the win over Germany, the Three Lions have attracted to themselves the huge pressure of winning the tournament as "Giant killers" at all cost. Yes, it is now the elusive trophy or nothing.

They're now seen as potential champions having dismissed and dumped the Brazil 2014 World Cup winners out of Euro 2020.

The Boys of Southgate now carry massive responsibilities on their shoulders. The hope of a football loving nation rest on their feet. They can't afford to disappoint. Not after making themselves so proud in their Round of 16 fixture.

The world or Europe watches with keen attention how England under Southgate will leap to football glory by the end of this tournament.

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