Euro 2024: Will Southgate finally deliver?

With the Premier League on pause, the International break gives us the chance to take a look ahead at this year’s major tournament: Euro 2024. Gareth Southgate and his England side will once again look to make a major international tournament count after coming so close to a trophy in recent years. After agony in 2021 when beaten by Italy in the final on home turf and a narrow defeat to France in the 2022 World Cup quarter-final, will it finally be England’s year?

The appointment of Gareth Southgate brought with it a great amount of uncertainty in 2016. Limited managerial experience and disappointment from England in previous tournaments, many greeted his arrival with a lack of optimism. However, consistently good results in major tournaments have seen hope revitalised in England fans across the country. Euro 2024 will be no different, with the influx of young talent as well as the experience of the more senior players, England may have the perfect ingredients to end that 58-year wait for a trophy.

With that said, in what many describe as England’s ‘Golden Generation’, they still don’t have any titles to show for it bringing much criticism to Southgate’s ‘boring’ tactics. Add to that a scrappy defeat to Brazil on Saturday courtesy of a late Endrick goal and a last gasp draw to Belgium on Tuesday, the critics have only become worse.

The Squad

So, what is it exactly that makes everyone excited about this England squad? For the fixtures against Brazil and Belgium a stellar 25-man team was picked with the introduction of Anthony Gordon, Jarrad Branthwaite, Kobbie Manoo, James Trafford and Ezri Konsa all in the senior squad for the first time.

The squad also starred Jude Bellingham, Harry Kane and Declan Rice who have all impressed for their respective club’s this season, particularly Bellingham. The former Birmingham City and Borussia Dortmund has set the footballing world alight this campaign starring for Real Madrid in the battle for the LaLiga title with many terming him as the ‘best footballer in the world’ at the moment. The youngster will certainly be a key part of Southgate’s midfield in Germany this summer, especially after his important last-minute equaliser on Tuesday evening.

Although the strength of the England squad has been highlighted, they are a country plagued with injuries including Kane, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Bukayo Saka. It gives Southgate a huge selection dilemma but also the opportunity to experiment as he awarded Mainoo and Konsa their first international starts, as well as Ivan Toney, in his aim to act as Harry Kane’s understudy, against Belgium.

Questions on the manager’s selection of certain individuals have been asked with the likes of Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire continually picked despite poor form at club level. With that said, the experience of the long-time England servants will definitely have an impact on the younger players in the group. If their quality is not still there, perhaps, they can inspire the newer faces in the camp.

Will England do it?

What are England’s chances of winning the tournament? They are the favourites for the trophy, but they will be met by some fierce competition.

France will once again be the ones to watch out for as Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal amongst other European giants will be aiming for glory. Underdogs for the trophy may include Denmark and Croatia while Georgia are involved in their first major finals. Whatever happens, winning this trophy will not be a walk in the park for Southgate’s side.

Will Southgate silence his critics and finally bring home the trophy that England fans have been longing for? Germany 2024 has all the hallmarks of another special tournament, and you won’t want to miss it, especially if England perform. Watch international football and England’s Euro 2024 warmup game against Iceland with Engage Hospitality from the best seats in the house.

Euro 2024 Qualifying Campaign Finished

This week sees the end of the Euro 2024 Qualifying fixtures as England progress comfortably through to the Euros topping their qualifying group and unbeaten in all eight games. England will make the trip to Germany next summer along with 19 other sides who have also secured their place alongside the hosts, while the remaining three places are yet to be secured. Teams alongside England already qualified include hosts Germany, France, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands to name a few. But who will reign supreme in the German Capital next summer?

Draws against Ukraine and North Macedonia were the only points dropped in England’s qualifying campaign as they marched through comfortably, and we are guaranteed to see them playing on the continent in June.

After a torrid 2022 Summer that saw England win no games in the UEFA Nations League including a 4-0 defeat at home to Hungary, it was looking very bleak for Southgate ahead of the World Cup. However, a respectable tournament saw them get to the quarter-finals where they were narrowly beaten by an inform France side.

After being unbeaten since then, things are looking up for the England manager with the prospect of triumph looming large at Euro 2024. With that said, the criticism for his ‘boring’ style of football is still very prominent and the calls for his sacking are very real. However, if he can deliver a European trophy at the second time of asking, surely all doubts will be forgotten about?

What about the other sides in the competition? As Scotland qualify for their second consecutive European trophy, there is excitement amongst Scots to see just how far ‘The Tartan Army’ will go after an impressive qualifying campaign. With only one defeat and a famous victory over Spain they look stronger than ever. It raises the question, could Scotland be the dark horses in Germany in 2024?

Unsurprisingly, France are the favourites for the championship in 2024, after an agonising World Cup Final defeat to Argentina last year. In what has been described as one of the best World Cup Finals ever, a 3-3 draw over 120 minutes of football ended with a penalty shootout as Gonzalo Montiel scored the deciding spot-kick to finish what was a fairytale World Cup for Lionel Messi. The Blues will be desperate to make amends and become the champions of the continent once again.

Wembley Pitchview restaurant

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Holders Italy have qualified, just, after a draw with Ukraine, going through as runner’s-up in the qualifying group. It hasn’t been all plain-sailing for the Italians after breaking English hearts two years ago with no World Cup qualification in 2022 and only four wins in the qualifying stages for the Euros this year. If they want to retain their title, manager Luciano Spalletti will have to turn their subpar performances around. One thing is for sure, you must never write off the Italians.

After another World Cup in 2022 that saw the Germans fail to make it out of the group, they will be determined to change the narrative in front of a home crowd at the Euros in 2024.

Their last major trophy came in 2014 when they were victorious in the World Cup Final courtesy of an extra-time goal via Mario Gotze to see off Argentina. Aside from that, their last Euro success was in 1996 when they beat Czech Republic to become Champions of Europe. Can they use the home support to their advantage?

Ten wins for Portugal, scoring 36 goals and conceding 2, they certainly can’t be ignored. The questions over whether starman Cristiano Ronaldo will play in Germany still remain. Currently, at 38 years old it will be impressive if he can remain their talisman next summer, however, it appears that the former Manchester United star is not letting up in this competition with 10 goals and 2 assists in the qualifiers. Can he steer Portugal to another European Championship?

Twenty-four teams, one European trophy and one winner. Going into an international tournament it’s always difficult to tell who will come out as champions, however, there are definitely some clear-cut favourites who stand out amongst the rest of the crop.

Will Southgate’s England be able to finally win that trophy that we have come so close to in the last 6 years? Want to see England live in their Euro preparations, why not watch them live from Wembley in the best seats in the house with Engage.

June 2024
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EURO 2024: Who will make the England squad?

Dust off your England flags and get ‘Three Lions’ on your speakers because EURO 2024 is just around the corner. We’re now just nine months away from the tournament in Germany and England will be desperate to avenge their 2021 penalty shootout heartbreak in the final.

In what seems to have become a strangely familiar feeling, England fans have every reason to be optimistic. We’ve got a squad full of young, exciting talent, and Gareth Southgate’s record in major tournaments speaks for itself.

Ahead of the Euros, we’ve taken a look at who might make the final squad and whether they can go all the way.

Who will definitely be in the England squad?

While even Gareth Southgate won’t know how his final squad will look, there are some players that we already know will be on the plane providing they’re fit and available. Captain Harry Kane will be familiar with the German venues following his switch to Bayern Munich and he’ll be keen to make amends following his penalty miss in the World Cup defeat to France.

Meanwhile, he’ll be joined in attack by Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish. Superstar midfielders Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice are shoo-ins following their big-money moves over the summer.

At the back, Manchester City duo John Stones and Kyle Walker are guaranteed to feature in the final squad, along with Kieran Trippier and Jordan Pickford. Elsewhere, left-backs Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell should also be called up.

Southgate has come under scrutiny for being too loyal to his favourites, even when they’re not playing for their clubs. And while their inclusion may not please everyone, there’s a strong chance that Harry Maguire, Jordan Henderson and Kalvin Phillips will also be in the squad.

Who will be hoping to force their way in?

For any other country in the world, Trent Alexander-Arnold would be one of the first names on the plane. However, he’s never quite forced his way into Southgate’s plans, particularly given our strength at right-back. Yet his recent England appearances have seen him deployed in central midfield so there’s hope for the Liverpool man yet.

James Maddison has been on the fringes for a few years and having started the season strongly at Tottenham, you’d expect him to be in contention. Similarly, a return to form for Raheem Sterling could thrust the Chelsea winger back into the fold, despite him being ignored for the recent international break.

Crystal Palace star Eberechi Eze has also featured in the last few squads but with such strength in depth in attacking areas, he may just miss out.

Stones seems to be the only nailed centre-back, which gives an opportunity for the likes of Marc Guehi, Lewis Dunk, Levi Colwill and Fikayo Tomori to impress from now until the end of the season.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen who will be trusted to provide back-up for Kane up top. Callum Wilson appears to be the frontrunner but he’ll be looking over his shoulder at the form of Eddie Nketiah and Ollie Watkins alongside Ivan Toney, with his gambling ban ending in January, giving him 5 months to fire himself back into form.

England haven’t quite secured their place yet, with a few more qualifiers to go. You can cheer on the boys in style as they take on Italy and Malta at Wembley.

England face Germany in an international football match in front of home fans at Wembley Stadium

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Can England win EURO 2024?

After narrowly losing the final on penalties last time out, England will fancy their chances at going one better next summer. But they’ll face stiff competition from France, who are favourites to go all the way.

They boast a squad packed full of young talent, spearheaded by Kylian Mbappe, who has cemented his place among the world’s elite. But England aren’t far behind and having run France close at the World Cup, combined with their young stars getting another 18 months of experience under their belts, there’s no reason to fear anybody.

Hosts Germany will inevitably improve in time to be in contention next summer. A recent 4-1 defeat to Japan saw manager Hansi Flick dismissed. Yet more often than not, the Germans step up when it matters in tournaments.

As ever, Spain and Portugal will be among the contenders. Cristiano Ronaldo will be 39 by the time the competition gets underway and it will likely be his final chance to claim another international trophy.

Meanwhile, holders Italy will be looking to retain their crown, while the Netherlands and Belgium will always be dark horses.