England are perennial under performers on the national stage, another failure is far from expected, and with the likes Harry Kane, Danny Drinkwater and Eric Dier coming off career best seasons, the excuses are running out, fast.
With arguably the craziest English Premier League Season now at a close, the hopes of nation will hinge on a team which has for so long, brought so much heartache. Consistently choc-full of talent the likes of; Beckham, Owen, Gerrard, Lampard, Cole, Shearer, Neville and Ferdinand, they have never managed to deliver.
Things are no different this time around. Manager Roy Hodgson pulled some rather astounding selections, but, for the most part, they are well equipped to make a good run at winning the tournament and to do so, they will rely on the performances of three men in particular.
Harry Kane is coming off another incredible goal scoring season, finishing with 25 goals and the Golden Boot, just pipping Leicester City Striker, Jamie Vardy. The duo will vye for the number one striker position for the tournament, but many feel that Kane will be the primary choice, with Vardy coming off the bench. Kane is a hybrid athlete, a 6 foot tall, well-built target man with the pace to play across the front third if absolutely necessary.
Gifted with an incredible touch, turn and speed that would have made the likes of Andy Carroll fulfil his promise, Kane is England’s next great hope, and he may be the first to live up to it. Able to play back to goal, as well as on the last man, he allows England to change styles easily and accommodate the Pacey wingers they have selected. All of this, combined with an eye for goal, his ability to show up is key, should he fail, England’s will take a sizeable toll.
Another man who, along with Kane will bear responsibility to repeat the dose of club form is Danny Drinkwater. A cult figure in the league, Drinkwater showed, along with N’Golo Kante, marshalled the midfield with great poise. Also a handy attacking option, Drinkwater can float through the lines in the midfield and pop-up in uncomfortable places for any midfield and defence to deal with. Scoring two goals and providing seven assists from thirty-five games,
Drinkwater is no push-over and will provide a blend of grit and skill to the line-up which will stand them in good stead against group opponents; Wales and Slovakia, as well as others, should they exit the group stages.
The final key to England is Eric Dier. A standout in Tottenham’s fantastic season, Dier can play as a stopper in the back four, as well as a screener in front if needed. Strong and Calm on the ball, Dier provides a ‘Steven Gerrard like toughness’ to the midfield which the Brits have been looking to regain after the faltering career of Jack Wilshire. Appearing in thirty-seven games, scoring three times and providing two assists, Dier can lay claim to being the second or third best midfielder this EPL season behind N’Golo Kante and Mark Noble.
He may not feature heavily with the likes of James Milner, Dele Alli and Ross Barkley also in the squad, but, if needed. He can deliver.