Three Lions Tame Group Stage, But Roar Still Muffled

England have done what they set out to do: topped Group C and secured their place in the last 16 of the Euros 2024. But, and it’s a big but, the celebrations are somewhat muted. The performance of the Three Lions has been far from convincing, raising more questions than answers about their chances of going all the way.

While things seemed like everything would go smoothly for England before the tournament started, there were a few bumps in the road.

Facing what many considered weaker opponents, England stuttered and stumbled rather than dominated. A 1-0 win over Serbia, a 1-1 draw against Denmark, and a goalless draw against Slovenia paint a picture of a team struggling to find their attacking rhythm. The goals have been hard to come by, and the overall performances have lacked the spark and fluidity we expect from a team with such immense talent.

While the focus now shifts to the knockout stages, concerns linger about England’s ability to break down stubborn defenses and score the goals needed to win against tougher opposition. The lack of a convincing win in the group stage is a warning sign that the road ahead could be a bumpy one.

One of the talking points as been the selection Gareth Southgate has been picking for each match. While on paper it seems like the best team selection possible, this has been an ongoing issue for England that extends over 20 plus years. In England’s “Golden Generation” with the likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes, England could never seem to find the right combination. Gareth Southgate is at the same point now with a new younger squad with the likes of Foden, Bellingham, Saka and Cole Palmer.

While each has their unique abilities and have shined well at their respected clubs, there seems to be a disconnect in the midfield with these players. There seems to be very ying and yang to the balance of being creative and for dominating possession that has been lacking for England.

While looking at the squad it may be a difficult choice, but Southgate may need to realize that either Bellingham or Foden may need to taken out of the starting XI which may seem crazy to people, but the last three games have shone that England can not take control of a match with both of them in the midfield.

The question remains: Can England find their roar in time for the knockout stages? Or will their muffled performance in the group stage be a sign of things to come? Only time will tell.

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