England Team Review & Football Betting Odds – Euro 2012

Will Roy’s boys win?

England fans will barely have had time to get used to the fact that the new coach is not Harry Redknapp before the tournament comes around. But perhaps this is the master stroke that could make England a better bet than some might have imagined.

Look at the CV: Yes, Fabio Capello may have managed AC Milan, but Hodgson has been boss of Inter Milan. And he has international management experience, plus a ton of coaching badges. Sure, he might have come a cropper at Liverpool, but he was in charge of a poor side and had scant time to make an impact. And if he has no charisma, so what? If we’re picking an England coach on that basis we may as well have Kevin Keegan back.

Is Hodgson the man for the job?

There is, of course, the small matter of the personnel at his disposal. Some may suggest Hodgson’s appointment has much to do with his input into the new National Football Centre at Burton and its role producing stars in the future. That in itself may be a telling statement about the current team, ‘golden generation’ and all that.

There is no disguising it: England are short of great players. Ashley Cole is the world’s best left-back, Joe Hart is the finest goalkeeper England have had since Seaman (though that might be to damn with faint praise) and there is, of course Rooney. However, England’s talisman may not be free until the third game and with co-hosts Ukraine, the potentially brilliant but often pants France and bogey-team Sweden awaiting, even getting out of the group might be a tricky bet.

Rooney’s ban could scupper England

And even if they do progress, what odds it all goes wrong in a penalty shoot-out? And if the quality of the staff is an issue, what too of the tiredness of players who have not had a winter break? And it may not go unnoticed that England have seldom done well in this competition.

Put that all together and it seems hopeless. But is it? This is after all a tournament prone to throwing up unusual winners, be it the improbable Greek triumph or 2004, or Denmark’s trip back from the beach in 1992.

Of course, patriotism may be a reason for some to back England and if this investment – paid for by having cleverly saved those little flags you can attach to your car from the World Cup instead of having to buy new ones – comes off there will be even more reason for joy: You can tell the pessimists how wrong and unpatriotic they were.

Deep down, we all want England to win. Roy Hodgson is a man not given to ranting about how he’d “love it,” batting away criminal allegations, chasing after new teams as much as he chases after new women, or making controversial statements about reincarnation. Instead, England now has a dull bloke who is good at coaching in charge, having first tried everyone and everything else. Perhaps that is the missing ingredient.

England are featured in Group D along with Ukraine, Sweden and France.

Upcoming Fixtures and Match Previews:
France vs England
Sweden vs England
Ukraine vs England