Be prepared football's coming home

Jun 11, 2021 08:06 By Dave Hooper
Be prepared football's coming home Be prepared football's coming home
The Short Corner Column by Dave Hooper
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You might not like it, but this time England will Euro 2020

Be afraid, football is coming home, England will win Euro 2020 and this will be the start of something, well something successful.

“We’ve seen it all before, England’s gonna throw it away, gonna blow it away” is the verse of the song three lions but this year the final line of this verse is the big one “I know they can play”.

The right manager changes everything and in Gareth Southgate England have the right manager. Southgate has shown a steel, a calmness in-fact a statesmanship that’s required as an international manager.


It’s funny to believe the World Cup is now three summers ago, but that was when Southgate stamped his authority on the England team and that World cup semi-final place a first since 1990 and just a third ever.

In that time England have evolved further. Finishing third at the 2019 nations league after home and away victories over Spain.

Romping home to qualification in 2019 with 21 points on the board. Yes they did lose away to the Czech Republic but all be it, they had allowed themselves space for more than one slip-up at that stage


On paper the 2020 Nations league didn’t look as rosy, but it wasn’t really that bad, save for a slip-up at home to Denmark, a side who can catch anyone out with a hidden left hook.

Euro 2020 has already gone somewhat in their favour. Croatia aren’t the force they were, who got the better of them in the World Cup semi-final.

Their last meeting saw England edge a last gasp victory in front of a packed Wembley to book that 2019 nations league semi-final place.


They meet Croatia in Wembley again as do they meet Scotland and Czech Republic also.

In fact with Dublin out of the running as a host England are now set to play just one game; the quarter-final away from Wembley stadium, it has that feeling of 25-years-ago when football very nearly came home.

On the playing pitch, Harry Maguire is a probable loss, but England’s strengths are in their front line of Sterling, Maguire and Sancho.


In the group games they’ve three home ties, Croatia will be a tough affair which they will edge. A brave Scotland will be no match, nor too will the Czechs.

The winner of England’s group was due to play their last-16 game in the Aviva Stadium, however NEPHT put a stop to that so a meeting with Portugal will take place in Wembley.

The roars of 66 and Bobby Charlton’s famous goal will but an end to Rondaldo’s Euro dream as Southgate’s men will play their only game away from Wembley; the quarter-final against Spain in Rome.


And when the mighty Spanish have fallen, then the old enemy will arrive in Wembley as Germany face England in the semi-final and this time there will be revenge for 96 as England win and book a place in the Euro 2020(1) final against France with London buzzing on a warm July day.

I don’t need to paint picture of what comes next!

The Euro’s itself are no longer were they used to be. The best 16 teams in the world’s strongest continent offered a very tight and competitive competition.

Now the 24 team tournament and bending of the rules to allow a team from league C and D from the nations League do nothing to make the grade. Standards can and have dropped very easily.

Still and all those are the rules but, be very prepared because football is coming home!

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