In true Three Lions fashion, England have hardly made life easy for themselves, despite qualifying top of their qualifying group, where in truth they rarely had to break sweat to see of the likes of Montenegro and Switzerland, they managed to undo all that good work with more sorry saga’s.
Unsurprisingly, the man at the centre of this storm was former captain John Terry, who was stripped from the post following allegations of racial abuse against Anton Ferdinand in Chelsea’s match against Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League.
Latest Euro 2012 Winner Odds
- Spain 11/4
- Germany 10/3
- Netherlands 7/1
- France 12/1
- England 12/1
- Italy 14/1
- Portugal 20/1
- Russia 25/1
He is due to stand trial in July over the incident, and maintains his innocence, but the FA were quick to act on the matter, relieving Terry of his captain duties for the second time in his much maligned career, saying Terry would not “captain the England team until the allegations against him are resolved”.
This did not sit well with manager Fabio Capello, who was of the strong opinion that Terry was innocent until proven guilty and vented his frustration live on Italian TV.
A decisive meeting followed at FA headquarters and sensationally within 48 hours of Terry being stripped of the captaincy, Capello handed in his resignation. Never has the phrase two days can be a long time in football been so apt.
The fact that England cruised through the group unbeaten and seemingly pretty stable compared to previous England regimes, makes the reality that both Terry and Capello have been relieved of their duties pretty hard to believe.
Even now at the time of writing, a good two months after the whole debacle took place, the public is still scratching their heads as to the FA appointment of Roy Hodgson, and the inclusion of some players that have done nothing to justify getting even close to the squad.
Additionally, the Three Lions will head into the tournament also missing their most influential player in the shape of Wayne Rooney after he was sent off in the final qualifying game against Montenegro for violent conduct and is still to serve his two-game ban.
Rooney will be available for the final group game against co-hosts Ukraine in Donetsk on Jun 19 in Group D, but he is ineligible for the preceding fixtures, against France and Sweden. If you’re a believer of the one man team ethos then the 6/5 available on England to win just one of their Group games could be of interest.
With or without Rooney however, England should be good enough to qualify from a relatively straightforward group, with France in the opening game the only real problematic game facing the Three Lions. It’s 1-2 (Coral) for them to make the quarter finals.
Despite all the shenanigans surrounding their build-up to a major competition there are some shining lights in the youth department that have the ability to stand up and be counted at a tournament of this nature.
Liverpool forward Andy Carroll is a player with excessive talents which were just beginning to show at the tail end of the season, as was Manchester United defender Phil Jones, and if we throw in the guidance of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, England have two Champions League winners in key positions.
There could be some light at the end of this dark and dreary tunnel for anyone brave enough to take that 12/1.