Despite the traditional sense of growing optimism that seems to routinely surround the Three Lions en route to every major international tournament, England’s overall success-rate when competing upon the world stage, or merely just among their most fierce European competition, isn’t all that impressive in the cold light of day.
It’s not for the want of trying, of course, it’s just that England sometimes lack the required technical capability all across the park when push really comes to shove. They’re frequently forced to go about their business without a distinct sense of unwavering tactical confidence from within the often vulnerable looking realms of the dug-out, as well as perhaps even the necessary mental strength that all winning teams need to count upon in abundance.
Yet as Roy Hodgson’s current England squad nonetheless look to have evolved rather dramatically throughout the course of what has undoubtedly proven an utterly unpredictable 2015/16 campaign, maybe this year, with EURO 2016 waiting patiently on the horizon, really could be the year fortunes start to change for the determined Three Lions.
Let’s look at the situation objectively for once. Although England fans always take on a somewhat ill-conceived approach when it comes to analysing their nation’s overall hopes for any upcoming major international tournament, this year Hodgson has the luxury of calling upon the two highest ranking goalscorers across the entire English top-flight, one of the most exciting young talents to break through into the Premier League for quite some time truth be told and a range of exceptional goalkeepers, each worthy of claiming that all-important starting role for themselves.
Mauricio Pochettino has worked wonders for the England international set-up in 2015/16, with each of Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, and, the aforementioned outstanding youngster that is, Dele Alli all contributing greatly to the South American’s mini-revolution down at White Hart Lane.
Leicester City’s monumental rise also proves rather profitable for Hodgson within the grand scheme of things this summer, as both Danny Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy clearly represent valuable assets for England at this particular stage.
Whilst the Three Lions faithful still admittedly include those who have all but lost their belief in the national squad, most England fans have nonetheless been calling out for a brand new youthful injection to freshen up the team for several consecutive seasons now. This current team could therefore go on to represent everything the country has been waiting for, with just a little bit of luck on their side at this summer’s tournament.
You need only look to England’s, albeit slightly meaningless, friendly against Germany for the undoubted signs of potential that seemingly linger. Although Hodgson’s team have impressed in pre-tournament friendlies without really making their mark at major international competitions in the past, something just seems different about the current free-flowing, attack-minded squad we have the pleasure of watching over right in the here and now.
But even with such a positive outlook in mind: is the entire situation surrounding England free from complaint and rosy all-round? Absolutely not!
Hodgson remains a questionable choice to lead England into EURO 2016 for some and it remains to be seen whether or not the failed ex-Liverpool boss will select the ‘right’ squad of players when his overall decision making qualities are finally called into question. And as Wayne Rooney remains the undisputed captain for England ahead of the highly anticipated competition, the prospect of watching both Vardy and Kane combining together in France could fail to materialise.
So then, whilst the routinely dejected England fan-base do in-fact have major cause for optimism this time around, don’t be surprised if it all comes crashing down for the Three Lions when all is said and done this summer… But, there’s certainly more optimism than there was two years ago!