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Opinion

How will England fare at Qatar 2022?

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Roar Rookie
16th July, 2021
25

The Three Lions currently sit third favourite with the bookies to take out the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup behind Brazil and France.

England’s recent heartbreak at the Euros saw them knocked out in penalty shootout at the hands of the Italians who were relentless all tournament, and entered the tournament on a hot winning streak.

England were expected by many fans and pundits to at least reach the semi-finals with a young squad with an abundance of talent.

The likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire shined as they helped England place second.

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A question on the minds of many is how will they fare at Qatar in 2022?

The answer on paper is at least the qualifiers. No one doubts the English talent, and the domestic teams have dominated Europe for the last two years with both Champions League finals consisting of all English teams.

However as we know, on paper means nothing as we saw France ejected from the tournament in the round of 16. They initially sat as favourites to lift the trophy.

The scrutinising media of England, reputed to be the most relentless and unforgiving on earth, has often been to blame for the reason that the Three Lions have not been able to get it done on the big stage.

Gareth Southgate

(Photo by Carl Recine – Pool/Getty Images)

Citizens believe the pressure placed on the squad come any major international tournament is simply too much to handle.

With the average age of the England squad sitting at 25 there is still plenty of room for growth and chances to lift a major international trophy.

The oldest member of the squad is Kyle Walker at 31, who happens to be the quickest. Some young guns such as Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka are some exciting prospects to watch for the future.

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Gareth Southgate took a defensive approach all tournament, which proved to work, only conceding two goals all tournament.

While many questioned these tactics given the fire power of England’s attack Southgate benched for the majority of the tournament, it is hard to argue to a coach who lost the grand final on penalties.

Pundits predict Southgate’s job is safe for Qatar 2022, however some decisions made in the Euros didn’t sit well. Notably, choosing Bukayo Saka, a 19-year-old, to take a decisive penalty and lack of game time for Grealish.

The country reacted to the narrow loss poorly. The world has seen a dark side to the English fans, which we knew they had, but hoped it wouldn’t reveal its ugly head.

Vandalism, abuse, rioting and racial attacks were carried out right across the country and on social media. Disgusting behaviour just added to the reputation of a minority of English fans.

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With the power of the current squad, despite England’s reputation to fall short on the big stage, I believe they are a good chance to progress well into the back end of the campaign.

One thing for sure is England have an up-and-coming team that will be exciting to watch.

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