The England soccer crew head into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as one of many favourites to finish their lengthy wait to win a significant event.
The Three Lions’ solitary success on the largest stage got here in 1966 after they defeated West Germany 4-2 after extra-time at Wembley Stadium. England have suffered a string of disappointments since then, together with a demoralising defeat towards Italy within the 2020 European Championship remaining.
Regardless of their repeated underachievement in worldwide soccer, England is rated as one of many foremost contenders to elevate the celebrated trophy. Whereas the bookmakers are assured that England can do properly in Qatar, it’s honest to say that the crew’s preparations for the event haven’t gone to plan.
England began the 12 months with pleasant victories over Switzerland and Ivory Coast, however issues quickly went downhill thereafter.
They kicked off their Nations League marketing campaign with a disappointing 1-0 defeat in Hungary, earlier than laboring to a 1-1 draw towards Germany. A goalless draw with Italy adopted, but it surely was a 4-0 defeat towards Hungary at Wembley that set the alarm bells ringing.
Having had three months to regroup, England didn’t fare significantly better on their return to motion, dropping 1-0 in Italy earlier than snatching a plucky 3-3 draw with Germany. That collection of outcomes noticed England relegated from the highest of stage of the Nations League and solid important doubt over their capacity to win the World Cup.
Though the bookies nonetheless imagine within the Three Lions, backing them to achieve success is fraught with hazard for anybody considering of betting on the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
One of many largest points dealing with England is whether or not supervisor Gareth Southgate possesses the tactical acumen to cause them to success in a significant event. Many pundits imagine the England boss blew a golden alternative at Euro 2020 by being overly cautious after his crew took the lead towards Italy.
His crew alternatives have additionally come below scrutiny, along with his loyalty to a number of underperforming gamers being broadly questioned. They embrace centre-back Harry Maguire, who has had a torrid time with each Manchester United and England over the previous 12 months or so.
Southgate’s rejection of Trent Alexander-Arnold has additionally been closely criticised, whereas his refusal to correctly utilise Jack Grealish is extraordinarily questionable.
As is commonly the case within the run-up to main tournaments, there are a number of different issues with the squad that Southgate should handle over the approaching weeks. His tendency in direction of warning could be the primary impediment England wants to beat if they’re to win the World Cup.
The Three Lions have some superb attacking expertise at their disposal, however they’re continually being requested to play inside themselves.
The crew’s efficiency in recovering from a 2-0 deficit within the latest sport towards Germany demonstrated what can occur when the brakes are let off. England battled again properly in that sport to safe a 3-3 draw after Southgate launched the shackles and allowed the gamers to have a go.
A World Cup win is fully doable for England if Southgate is courageous sufficient to let his most gifted gamers work their magic. The query is, does he possess the braveness to do this?