England qualified for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament on September 8th against Switzerland with a 0-2 result. The next games will give a good indication of what’s to be expected for England in the 2016 European Cup. The Three Lions will host Estonia on October 9th and face Lithuania three days later for the last two games of the qualifiers.
These two games may help Wayne Rooney to secure his place as one of England’s biggest legends after he recently knocked Sir Bobby Charlton off the top spot as England’s greatest-ever scorer. Coach Roy Hodgson will also get the chance to try out new recruits to the English squad against Estonia and Lithuania, possibly granting some substitutes the opportunity to earn a place in the UEFA Euro 2016.
But there two more important dates for England in November. On the 13th, the Three Lions will travel to Spain to face the 2010 World Cup winners. Four days later, England will host France for another friendly at Wembley. These two matches will go some way to answering the question of whether England have any chance of winning the Euro 2016. Given their dismal tournament performances in recent years, it’s unlikely we’ll see a queue forming outside Ladbrokes to back our boys but if they were to beat teams like Spain and France, all that could change.
These matches will be tests for players like Rooney. Despite indisputably earning his place in the record books with 50 goals scored for England so far, the fact that only six were in major tournaments is the cause of a great deal of speculation that Rooney doesn’t deserve to be ranked as one of the country’s greats. If he wants to secure his place among England’s legends, he’ll have to pull something special out of the bag against these two big nations.
Having seen off their less than menacing Group E opponents, England’s lack of competitive play in recent months doesn’t bode well for the friendly. Their decent results so far are a good sign, but injuries to a number of key players including defender Luke Shaw only concede even greater advantage to France as the undoubtedly stronger team.