Before the tournament began, everyone was mesmerized by the attacking power of the English, and they were waiting for impressive offers from Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, or Raheem Sterling.
2 goals for 7
Those hopes looked more legitimate as England crossed their qualifying group with 37 goals in eight matches.
But now, only Manchester City striker Sterling, who scored the two goals scored by the national team in the continental competition, lived up to expectations, as only two goals gave the team 7 points (a 0-0 draw in the Scotland match) thanks to a defense that was never its strong point. Since the qualifiers ended more than a year and a half ago, Gareth Southgate has gradually taken a more cautious approach to the game, and during the last European Nations League, he tried to return to an organization of 3 players in the center of defense, a tactic with which he reached the “Three Lions” to the semi-finals. The 2018 World Cup, but that ended in half failure, as the English occupied third place in their group behind Belgium and Denmark, so that “Southgate” returned to the 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 system, supported by a fixed double defensive axis, and two fast backs in Building attacks, especially when the “Three Lions” lead in the score.
This supposed caution can be explained in several ways, the first of which is the lessons learned from the crowning of “The Blues” with Didier Deschamps in the World Cup in Russia, and also from other teams in previous major competitions, where the one with the best defense often wins.
Southgate is clear enough to realize that its defenders or goalkeeper are not the best in their field, and that the organizational structure must provide the element of additional strength that the elements may lack. Ironically, English attacking power reinforces this feeling, like France, that a goal can come at any time, and that a good showing is entirely secondary.
With just 2 goals in 3 matches, the England national football team is the lowest scorer among the group leaders in the history of the competition.
But Southgate cannot be deceived by the relative weakness of the competitors so far, and he knows very well that another tournament will start at the price of the final, with opponents of a completely different caliber, starting from the next match.
Will the English rear guard also withstand the shocks of France, Germany or Portugal?
England repeats the 1966 scenario
Two goals in 3 offensive games
7 points for the England national football team
Defensive organization requires offensive power
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