A few weeks ago, nobody knew who was going to be England manager for Euro 2012. It was also extremely uncertain which players would be on the place to compete for the Three Lions in Poland and Ukraine.
Now though, following the appointment of Roy Hodgson and the announcement of his 23-man squad, more accurate predictions can be made with regards to how they might get on.
As far as the bookies are concerned, England are fourth favourites to win the whole tournament. In many ways though, it seems hard to justify Hodgson’s men being more likely than the likes of Italy and France for success.
England have constantly let their fans down in major tournaments and given the craziness of the last few months, there isn’t much to suggest that this summer will be any different.
With the likes of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Joe Hart in the team, England are certainly capable of beating the best around, but will they actually turn on the style when it counts?
One thing that could work in England’s favour is the slightly lessened expectation levels. After the negative vibe around the national team for a while now and the horrific performance during the 2010 World Cup, not many would – hand on heart – predict England to become European Champions.
This means that Hodgson’s men can be a little bit more relaxed, but still be aware that England football fans expect a good showing. Whether they win the whole thing or not, England want a football team to be proud of.
The key for England could be winning their opening two games. If six points are achieved from the games against France and Sweden without the suspended Rooney, Hodgson and co could be onto something.
Their main goalscoring threat would then come in fresh with the team virtually into the quarter-finals. The momentum from the opening two wins could then get this team ticking and who knows what could happen.
Defeat in either of the first two games though and England are immediately playing catch up with Rooney’s return looking to be the saving grace rather than an added bonus to a winning team.
Can England win Euro 2012? Yes. Will they win Euro 2012? A lot would have to fall into place very quickly, so it seems extremely unlikely.