If England fail to advance to the latter stages of Euro 2020, Gareth Southgate’s ability to take the team forward will be the subject of scrutiny.
Southgate has a talented group of players at his disposal which should be reaching nothing less than the semi-finals of major tournaments if not win them.
One of the questionable stances taken by Southgate in the Euros so far is his decision not to hand starts to Jadon Sancho against Croatia and Scotland.
Southgate has indicated that he needs to be realistic about the demands that he places on young players such as Sancho.
“We’ve got some explosive options, and a lot of them are young players and experiencing a big tournament for the first time,” said Southgate as quoted by Sky Sports.
“So, as a coaching staff, we are realistic about our expectations of them as individuals.
“Jadon is in that mix. He’s trained well the last few days and, of course, we have got those options and those decisions to make.”
Sancho is a first-team regular for Borussia Dortmund but has been overlooked with Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden chosen ahead of him.
He also boasts more Champions League experience than many players in England’s squad, making Southgate’s comments even more laughable.
Sancho has played in more Champions League games than Jordan Pickford, Tyrone Mings, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice and Mason Mount combined. 🤷🏾♂️ https://t.co/thnhWZjWF9
— Jonathan Fadugba (@JFfutbol) June 20, 2021
Speculation about Sancho’s club future will only intensify once the European Championships are over.
The youngster is strongly tipped to join Manchester United, as was the case last summer.
Dortmund may now be more inclined to sell the winger to United as they risk losing Sancho for a bargain fee next summer.
Some people believe that Sancho’s absence from the Premier League hinders his chances of playing in England’s starting XI and that may be the reason for him seeking a move.
However, it’s a question of the system Southgate plays and whether he can find the right balance between defence and attack.
As good as England’s defensive performance against Croatia was, they failed to rise to the occasion against a clearly more-spirited Scotland.
The game against Czech Republic will require more attacking intent against a team that have collected four points from their two games to date.
Will Southgate start Sancho ahead of Manchester City’s golden boy Phil Foden?
And, crucially, will he find a team selection and tactical dynamic that produces a commanding performance as we’ve seen from Italy, Belgium, France and co?
Also Read: Euro 2020 Fixtures & Results.