Gareth Southgate England Manager for 2024 European Championships

Is It Coming Home? Can England Win the 2024 European Championship?

Despite being one of the world’s biggest footballing nations, England have only won one World Cup and have, so far, failed to win a European Championship. Over recent years, England have come increasingly closer tournament by tournament, especially under the tenure of Gareth Southgate. Following the failure of the 2016 Euros, where England lost to Iceland in the round of 16, the 2018 World Cup saw a fourth-place finish and the unification of a nation under a new exciting manager. Three years later, the European Championships offered new hope for England fans, even the prospect of a win at the national stadium, Wembley. However, England, of course, failed to capitalise on the home crowd and were beaten by Italy on penalties. England’s quarterfinal elimination by eventual finalists France was a huge disappointment for the entire country, despite the fans’ continued optimism for the 2022 World Cup.

Since the last international tournament, England’s talent has increased massively, with some believing that this squad will be the best in the European Championships. Potential new inclusions for the Euros squad include:

  • Kobbie Mainoo, Manchester United’s new midfield maestro
  • Curtis Jones, Liverpool’s consistent, versatile 23-year-old
  • Ezri Konsa, the surprise in Unai Emery’s Aston Villa side
  • Levi Colwill, Chelsea’s composed centre-back
  • Jarrad Branthwaite, the two-footed, ever-present central defender
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold not a new player, but a new role for the inverted wing-back
  • Anthony Gordon, Newcastle United’s £45 million left-winger

Will it finally come home, or will England fans be let down yet again?

How Will England Play at the European Championships?

The upcoming international friendlies will showcase how Gareth Southgate intends to use the wealth of options at his disposal. Since 2016, when he took over from Sam Allardyce, the England manager has used several formations, including back-four and back-three systems. However, with the exciting midfield and attacking options he has available to him; a back-four formation would allow England to make the most of these talents.

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Several of these tactical styles have been covered by James Lawrence Allcott (in the video here), he showcases the options Southgate has available to him. The football analysis YouTuber offered different options to best utilise the personnel available to Southgate and his team for the upcoming European Championships, including many new players who haven’t made their debut or played regularly for the Three Lions. However, Southgate will likely continue with the tactics that have served him well so far as England manager.

In the biggest games, Southgate either deploys England in a 4-2-3-1 or a 5-2-3; both have two defensive midfielders that are crucial to how the former Middlesborough captain wants to play. They create defensive solidity, a good rest defence, and the ability to man-mark a striker or attacking midfielder if they are too large a threat. Two defensive-minded midfielders also allow the attacking players to stay higher up the pitch, meaning that they have more freedom in attack and don’t have as much defensive responsibility.

Recent times have seen Southgate use the 4-2-3-1 more because of Jude Bellingham, he has to start and playing him in a defensive role doesn’t maximise his strengths. Declan Rice has also proven his importance at club and country level this season, this leaves one more midfield space, the main candidates are Jordan Henderson, Curtis Jones, and Kobbie Mainoo. Henderson has always been reliable under Southgate, but a move to Saudi Arabia and Ajax’s poor form since his return will not help his cause. Jones has been excellent for Liverpool this season and was also a crucial player in England’s under-21 Euros win, partnering Angel Gomes in a double pivot. However, the recent uprise of Kobbie Mainoo and his promotion to the senior England team have led many to believe he deserves a starting spot.

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The 2024 European Championships could be the last opportunity for Gareth Southgate to win a major trophy as an international manager, with his contract expiring in December and strong links to the Manchester United job. He has the most exciting team in over two decades at his disposal, but is he the one? Can football come home again?

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