For England, major championships have rarely been a happy place given the talent at their disposal and their footballing pedigree. Third place on home soil in 1996 is the best they have ever managed in the Euros and bar the infamous 1966 World Cup victory, they have not been past the semi-finals of a major championship.
After the qualification disaster of 2008, England have been more solid in approaching major tournaments; previous coach Fabio Capello overseeing the World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 campaigns with poise and a minimum of fuss. Due to his recent deposal as manager, however, England find themselves without a figurehead and without direction a mere four months before the beginning of this summer’s Championships.
Whoever does take over has a huge task at hand; England expects nothing less than a semi-final berth and given the recent “flat” performances, there are calls to include more young talent in a team carrying underperforming experienced players.
Despite all of these issues, it is worth remembering that England possess many world class players in Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Joe Hart and having qualified with such ease, there is the feeling this team have many extra gears that can be coaxed out of them.