Gareth Southate - Manager to pick England XI at EURO 2024

Gareth Southgate Should Pick THIS England XI at EURO 2024

English national football has had a common theme: hope over heartbreak, with the streets singing “Football’s Coming Home” every two years and usually ending up in tears. The 1966 World Cup victory has become an anomalistic piece of English success.

Most recently, England’s winter World Cup experience was cut short in the quarterfinals after Harry Kane’s missed penalty saw the Three Lions head home against France. Before then, they faltered at the final hurdle, losing in the harshest way possible in EURO 2020, as Italy won the tournament on penalties.

So now the question beckons: how can Southgate go one step further and bring football “home”? Here is how we think it can be done with this England XI:.

Formation: 4-3-3

With Southgate and the players he has on hand, you are either going to get a 3-back or a classic 4-3-3. With the talent on offer, there is no reason for England to do anything but play on the front foot.

That is why we have gone with this four-back.

Goalkeeper – Jordan Pickford

Jordan Pickford must start in goal for England. While his form for Everton can occasionally be questioned, his time in an England shirt can’t. The size of his heart, which is evident when he wears his country’s shirt, more than makes up for his lack of physical height.

Time and time again, Pickford has been England’s hero. The goalkeeper only conceded 2 goals across the entirety of England’s 2021 road to the final. Can Pickford be England’s knight in shining armour in Germany this summer?

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Fullbacks – Kyle Walker & Luke Shaw

England’s best fullbacks both play for clubs in Manchester. Kyle Walker’s breakneck pace, coupled with Luke Shaw’s calming ability on the ball, make for the perfect fullback partnership.

Luke Shaw gained the nickname “Shawberto Carlos” after his elite display in the previous Euros saw the left-back make his way into the team of the tournament.

The right-back position is Kyle Walker’s. While, there is a case to be made for Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the City defender being a key part of the treble-winning team in the 2022–2023 season, Walker’s talent cannot be understated. If fit, Kyle Walker and Luke Shaw will be two of the first names on the team sheet.

Centre Backs – John Stones & Levi Colwill

Controversial? Yes, yet tactically correct. Stones’ selection in the England setup goes unquestioned. The Barnsley-born centre-back has a soothing presence on the ball, allowing the England side to effectively progress the ball forward as Southgate likes his sides’ to do.

Stones’ height (6″2′) adds an aerial presence to the England defense, which is vital in international football.

Colwill’s pace, coupled with his stronger left foot, complements Stones’ ability to a tee. Having a right-footed centre-back and a left-footed centre-back creates angles that allow the team to bring the ball forward with ease.

Defensive Midfield – Kobbie Mainoo & Declan Rice

Balance is key in the midfield. An attacking midfielder wins games; a balanced midfield wins tournaments. Kobbie Mainoo has come into his own at Manchester United this season. The 18-year-old has proved to be unimaginably calm on the ball, showing composure on the ball in some of the fiercest atmospheres in Europe. The Manchester United midfielder has been given his flowers, with Gareth Southgate stating, “He’s quite a progressive player but he’s had a fabulous start to his career and it will be good to monitor him as we go forward.”

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Hence, Declan Rice playing the “regista” role with Mainoo slightly ahead would give England the means to control and dictate matches. The enormous success of Declan Rice’s one hundred million-pound move to Arsenal last summer has further solidified his place in the England eleven. Declan in the six, Kobbie in the eight, but who plays in the ten?

Attacking Midfield – Jude Bellingham

To keep it short and sweet, Jude Bellingham is the best football player in the world currently.

A solid defensive structure behind the Galactico will give him the freedom to roam forward freely. The Brum-born midfielder is currently en route to winning the 2024 Ballon d’Or. The bookies have Bellingham as an 11/4 favourite to win the illustrious individual trophy. Build the team around Jude Bellingham Gareth Southgate.

Right Wing – Bukayo Saka

One way to respond to racial abuse is by winning two “England Player of the Year” awards in consecutive years. Bukayo Saka has thrived in the two years following his missed penalty in the EURO 2020 final. The winger has provided thirteen goals and eight assists in twenty-six games in the Premier League thus far this season.

Left Wing – Phil Foden

While it is not his best position, Foden is essential to English success. Pace, close control, and two strong feet all add to Foden’s versatility, ergo, allowing the No. 47 to be an effective asset across the pitch. The Manchester City forward has gained credence after he has evidently gained Pep Guardiola’s trust, having played in all 27 of City’s games this season so far. It would be farcical for Southgate not to start Phil Foden in June.

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Striker – Harry Kane

Captain. Leader. Legend. England’s all-time top scorer, Harry Kane, will be first on the plane to Germany this summer. Kane’s marksmanship has been on show time and time again for England.

The forwards’ clinical finishing ability, paired with their ability to drop in deep and feed balls through to Saka and Foden is a beautiful combination for England fans to delve their eyes into. If Harry Kane is raring to go this summer, England has every chance of bringing the European Championship home.

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