You can put the Three Lions shirt back in the closet, replace the St George flags with Christmas decorations and cancel all celebratory plans for December 18th. Yes, sadly England Another major tournament exit following a disastrous 2-1 loss to France World Cup Saturday’s quarter-final clash.
There will no doubt be soul-searching and some tough moments from the players and staff. But instead of wallowing in misery, we at Express Sport have decided that the best course of action is to look forward to a promising and glorious future.
After all, there is only a year and a half until Euro 2024 in Germany, where England will once again be one of the hot favourites. So can they finally, finally, cross the line and end those years of hurt? Check out some important pre-competition questions here…
What will England’s XI look like in the first game of Euro 2024?
Matt Dunn: Pickford; James, Stones, Kwehi, Shaw; Bellingham, Rice; Fellow, Foden, Rashford; Can.
Neil Squires: Pickford; James, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell; Rice, Bellingham, Foden; Rashford, Kane, Saga.
Stuart Ballard: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell; Rice, Bellingham, Henderson; Foden, Kane, Saga. The 2026 World Cup may require major changes, but I don’t see England’s XI for the 2024 Euros being any different than the current one.
Archie Griggs: Ramsdale; James, Tomori, Stones, Chilwell; Rice, Bellingham, Madison; Saga, Foden, Can. England have a solid group of young players and will be in a good place when the Euros return in 2024. However, if Ramsdale continues to excel between Arsenal, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see a new goalkeeper between the sticks. Today, Pickford is set to celebrate his 30th birthday ahead of the tournament.
Tom Parsons: Pickford, James, Stones, Tomori, Shaw, Rice, Bellingham, Phillips, Saka, Foden, Kane. With only 18 months to go until Euro 2024, I can’t see any change in England’s squad ahead of the tournament. If he returns to the Premier League next summer, I’d advise him to wrestle the centre-back shirt from Tomori Maguire. And James and Phillips could be handed starting spots.
Alex Turk: Pickford; James, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Bellingham, Mt.; Saga, Foden, Can. Boring, sorry… Maguire’s involvement is highly controversial, but I think he will leave United in the summer and play in the lower ranks for the 23/24 season.
Should Gareth Southgate be in charge of the competition?
MD: If he is up for it, Southgate should be given the opportunity to lead the England team he created for the last challenge. Hopefully he will see football brought home from Germany – the opposite of what Germany did in England in 1996 – as a way of achieving international closure, he can sign club football on the back of the long overdue Three Lions success.
N. S: Yes. Southgate has carried this side so far and despite their quarter-final exit in Qatar they have progressed to this World Cup. If his heart is still in it, he deserves a chance to finish what he started.
SB: Some may see a World Cup exit as an opportunity to try something new but I feel Gareth Southgate deserves a final big tournament. He’s the reason this country fell back in love with international football, and a close defeat to World Cup favorites France shouldn’t be the end of it.
AG: With his cautious approach to making changes against England at Euro 2020 and against France at the World Cup, Southgate showed he lacks the tactical awareness required to be a top coach. However, he boasts the best man-management skills in international football and has pulled England’s big-name stars in the same direction after years of club competition spread across the squad, meaning he would be the right man. 2024 with the condition that the team learns from its past mistakes.
TP: Southgate has developed a unique bond with his England players over the past six years and still looks the best man for the job. It is certainly concerning that he has not been able to get his team over the line in all three major tournaments he has been in charge of. But the Three Lions culture is outstanding, so the man deserves one more chance at glory.
AT: Yes. Southgate’s contract runs until 2024 and, like the FA, I’m keen to see him honor his return to club football instead. England’s loss to France didn’t get him, so he deserved one last win before many of his era’s stalwarts retreated.
What is the key change England need to make to go from contenders to winners?
MD: A strong defensive base is essential – and England’s success depends on one of the young centre-backs developing enough to push the tough Harry Maguire out of the team. The only thing England need to change is their luck.
N. S: As he matures, England will need to build their attacking structure around Phil Foden, using him more centrally.
AT: Experience (and penalty practice…). A significant portion of the World Cup squad is aged 25 or under, so more big-game experience at club level, along with the lessons learned against France and Italy, will go a long way in establishing the mindset needed to qualify. England will be even better at Euro 2024, I’m sure of it.
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