Well, what a statement Southgate has sent out for England’s Euro 2020 intentions after a 5-0 thumping of Czech Republic on Friday night and a huge 5-1 victory away in Montenegro.
The style of play Southgate has embedded in this current England side fills every Englishman’s head with pure excitement, the strength in depth, youth and desire to play for the shirt is something that hasn’t been seen this millennium.
Czech Republic were no match at Wembley with England dominating with 63% of the possession and scoring 5/8 (62%) of their shots on target with Raheem Sterling scoring a hat-trick. Arguably the most impressive aspect of these two opening qualifying games has been the shot conversion rate, of the 14 shots on target England have taken they’ve converted 72% of them into goals.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was handed his full England debut vs Montenegro prior to starting a single Premier League game for Chelsea and assisted club team mate Ross Barkley to get England’s second goal. There’s plenty of questions to be asked of Maurizio Sarri after seeing excellent performances from the two of them whilst being used in different roles and also getting the minutes they’ve clearly shown they deserve.
Another positive for England is that the goals have come from sources other than Harry Kane, during the 2018 World Cup, Kane was responsible for 6 of the 12 goals scored by England. So far he’s scored 2 of the 10 in this group stage which is merely showing the quality coming through the ranks.
Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard have been on the sidelines for these fixtures and it’s going to be a task fitting them back into this squad that is clearly flourishing. It’s way too early to start discussing next summer’s results but England have already started getting hammered in to 5/1 for the outright win of Euro 2020.
Unfortunately Monday night’s fixture ended on a sour note after disgusting racist chants throughout the game were aimed at the England squad, specifically Hudson-Odoi and Sterling. The professionalism, class and composure of the way the two players handled it is something that should be taken on board by any aspiring sportsmen.
It’s an incredible time to be an England fan regardless of potential trophies, every game is a must watch.