5 Reasons Why England Will Win Euro 2012
For the last 4 or 5 tournaments England have gone into, there has been a general public and media expectation that they have a divine right to win it.
For example, the squad of the 2006 World Cup was labelled 'The Golden Generation', as it featured such Premier League 'stars' as John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney, along with captain David Beckham.
But as we all know, things haven't always turned out that way; Euro 2000 ended in the group stage, before 2002, 2004 and 2006 all ended in quarter final tears. It only got worse for Euro 2008, not even qualifying, before World Cup 2010 which was the worst of them all, only 1 win, 1-0 against Slovenia.
This year we have no captain, no Rooney, no set formation and we have only just appointed a manager, and nobody thinks he's any good.
But things will be different at Euro 2012: because of all this, no-one will expect anything, and there won't be the usual media hype over England's Euro chances, which can only help the team.
Over the last two seasons since the World Cup disaster, there has been an increase in talented young English players.
We have Phil Jones, Kyle Walker and Chris Smalling in defence, Tom Cleverley and Jack Wilshere (although he's injured for Euro 2012) in midfield, and Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge upfront.
But it's not just young players that new for England: Scott Parker will be 31 going into Euro 2012, with less than 15 caps. Another player worth a mention is Grant Holt; playing for newly promoted Norwich, he has been the second highest English scorer in the Premier League after only Rooney, so is surely worth taking on the plane to Euro 2012.
The new players don't have the bad memories of previous tournaments and so will play with less fear and more confidence.
If there is one thing that Spain, Holland and Germany, for all their talented players, do not have, it's pace. England have Theo Walcott, Aaron Lennon, Ashley Young, Adam Johnson and Danny Welbeck who all, especially the first two, have enough pace to trouble any defence.
If England can use a formation that can utilise that pace, such as 4-3-3, then that is one possible way of opening up defences during Euro 2012.
The Pace Of Lennon
A Solid Goalkeeper
For the first time since David Seaman was playing, England fans can relax a little, knowing that there won't be Robert Green or David James ready to mess everything up at the back. In Joe Hart, England for once have a reliable, consistent number 1.
He went to the 2010 World Cup but didn't play, and is now ready to take his chance at Euro 2012, and even though he's just 25, any England fan would tell you he is definitely one of our best players and a crucial part of the team.
He has already shown his worth; he will have played 19 games by the start of Euro 2012, and has only lost once so far, 3-2 to Holland.
Poor European Season
As everyone knows, the English clubs European campaigns in the 2011-12 season have been some of the worst in recent times. Ok, Chelsea got to the Champions League final, but Manchester United and Manchester City crashed out of both the Champions League and Europa League early on in the season, and Arsenal only made it to the first knockout round before valiantly losing 4-3 to Milan.
All this means that, while Spain will have almost their whole squad competing in both European tournaments up to the semi-finals and finals, England's players will not be exerting themselves to the same level so often, which, come June 8th, is only going to help with fitness.
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