England are struggling to find their best form. Euro 2020 is being played in 2021 with Free Live Streaming on BBC iPlayer and ITV Sport. Need a England Euro 2020 Football VPN?
England have not made an impressive start to Euro 2020 in terms of their performances on the pitch but a win over Croatia and a somewhat fortunate draw with Scotland have left them in a strong position in Group D as the head into the final game in second place behind the Czech Republic who they will face on Tuesday in an 8pm kickoff at Wembley. The England Euro 2020 campaign needs to find some spark!
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📅 11 June – 11 July 2021
Their one-nil win over Croatia was largely the result of being the least bad of two poor teams on the day. Croatia look like a team that has had it’s day in the sun and have little left to offer from their “golden generation of talent”. Kalvin Phillips and Raheem Sterling both gave good showings but Gareth Southgate’s negative set-up and strange selection choices did little to inspire much enthusiasm for England’s chances of winning the competition.
A dour affair was highlighted, or more accurately – low-lighted, by the performance of Harry Kane who continued his tradition of not turning up in major competitions against teams who aren’t made up of part-timers. A look at Kane’s history in international tournaments shows reason to be worried for England. In four appearances, three of them starts, at Euro 2016 Kane failed to muster a single goal or performance of note against Wales, Slovakia, Russia or Iceland. Hardly a who’s who of international football. Kane’s performance was as insipid as the football England played under Roy Hodgson and England went out in embarrassingly eliminated by Iceland. It’s also worth noting that England scored only four goals, and only three from open play, at the tournament so it wasn’t just Kane who struggled in front of goal.
Kane did take home the Golden Boot from the 2018 World Cup but let’s actually examine his six goal haul. In the opening game against Tunisia Kane scored twice with close range headers from set-pieces. He offered little in the way of a threat in open play but retained his poachers instincts to capitalise on poor marking by the Tunisian defence. Next up, mighty Panama. Two penalties and a Ruben Loftus-Cheek shot that hit Kane on the heel as he tried to get out of the way gave the Spurs man the worst hat-trick in World Cup history. He was rested against Belgium as England lost to the first decent team that played in the competition. On into the Round of 16, a penalty against Colombia was his only notable involvement in the game. It’s surprising he didn’t try to include his penalty in the shoot-out that resulted from a 1-1 draw as part of his tally. He failed to score, or make any impact, against Sweden in the quarter-final, Croatia in the semi-final or Belgium in the third placed play-off. Kane’s Golden Boot doesn’t reflect the tournament he had. He scored three penalties, two close range headers and took credit for a goal he knew nothing about. He failed to muster a good performance against anyone other than Panama.
Back to back blanks against Croatia and Scotland carry on his tradition of not turning up against any nation ranked above 54 in the world at major tournaments. His performance against Croatia was bad but not nearly as poor as what he offered against Scotland. In the first half he managed to touch the ball only 10 times. On six of those occasions he lost possession. He didn’t show for the ball, didn’t offer anything in terms of pressing the Scottish defenders and didn’t really look like he was ever going to make an impact by the time Gareth Southgate hauled him off. The fact that the England captain, the main goalscorer, was taken off in a 0-0 against Scotland spoke volumes. Of course the pundits rushed to suggest that there must be an injury but the reality is that it was very much in fitting with what Kane has put forward in his previous 10 appearances at major tournaments against teams that aren’t Panama.
Kane epitomised England on the night. Flat, flaccid and unlikely to make any magic happen. The Scots were the better team and were let down only by their own lack of real quality in the final third. It wasn’t the performance or result that Southgate was looking for, and while the pundits rushed to protect him after the game saying that a draw was a good result and that everyone should be happy with four points from the opening two games it is worth remembering that these are the same people who predicted England would win comfortably before the game.
England will need to up their game against the Czechs, and perhaps Southgate should use this game to experiment. There is no doubt that Jadon Sancho should be starting for England, that Dominic Calvert-Lewin is worthy of game time or that Jude Bellingham could offer drive and purpose in midfield. England should qualify regardless of the result but where they qualify and who they face next is still up in the air. A win secures top spot, a draw will mean second place and potentially an easier route to the later stages but a defeat could mean a third placed finish depending on the result for Scotland vs Croatia and that could make things tricky.
The easiest way to watch the Euro 2020 football live from from anywhere in the world is on BBC Sport and ITV…
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The Euro 2020 Championship will be streamed live on the BBC Sport website as well as ITV and the various BBC iPlayer and BBC / ITV Sports apps on iPhone, iPad, Android, Smart TV, Now TV, FireTV etc.
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