EURO 2012; Spain & Germany on Form while Roy Hodgson shapes Englands Chances
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EURO 2012; Spain & Germany on Form while Roy Hodgson shapes Englands Chances

Kiev : Ukraine | Jun 15, 2012 at 10:12 AM PDT
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Roy Hodgson names 23 man England squad for Euro 2012 Poland & Ukraine | FATV

Spain's masterclass versus Ireland and the return to form of Fernando Torres show that their squad are staying true to their style of play and adding more goal scoring bite. Indeed, Spain definitely has a reasonable chance to win 3 successive major tournaments; a first. Germany, is also continuing to build their form behind the poaching of Mario Gomez and further integration of many young players who shone at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

England's squad, is bereft of the depth in quality of both those two nations yet a combination of injuries and the appointment of new manager, Roy Hodgson, has led to some interesting squad selections and tactics. What with the promising Jack Wishere and the more experienced Frank Lampard, Barry and Cahill, to name a few, not selected due to injuries Roy has opted to select mini-nucleuses of players from both Liverpool & Manchester United. This can only help to speed up the time it takes for players to gel at the national level, which under coach Hodgson, was only a few weeks time.

For example, Ashley Young, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones and the soon to return Wayne Rooney are all Man Utd players and also versatile when formations call for adding a striker or changing from match-2-match or during a contest. From Liverpool, England Captain Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Glen Johnson, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll are all included and earning playing time.

While any manager will want to have the "best" players for any given tournament, I think it was exceptionally smart for Roy to maximize selecting players that can integrate fast ahead of EURO 2012 and more readily adopt his 'Team' tactics. We shall see if their defensive approach in the first match vs France, which ended in a 1-1 tie, can lead to the clinical finishing that the manager is calling for against Sweeden later today and ahead of their final group match vs co-hosts Ukraine. Regarless, the 3 Lions will win or lose as a 'Team' and not as a group of aging stars with non-cooperative egos!

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England soccer coach Roy Hodgson  walks with team captain Steven Gerrard during a training session at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium in Manchester
England soccer coach Roy Hodgson walks with team captain Steven Gerrard during a training session at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium in Manchester
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