With just over a month to go until the start of the European Championships, it’s still quite incredible that a major footballing nation such as England still have no manager, captain or style of play in place. Their build-up had been farcical and it would be typical England to carry the same farcical mantra into the tournament itself.
Their group is by no means an easy one either, where France, Sweden and Ukraine lie in wait, which is why there has only been significant money for only one bet in their stage of elimination market – the group stage.
The 15/8 available has been gobbled up by punters with only Sportingbet holding firm at that price whilst others run for cover.
As with all major tournaments the ability to start well can do wonders for confidence. England’s will be fragile, no matter how well they hide it in front of the media, and with France waiting for them in first game, a match they will have to make do without star man Wayne Rooney, what’s left of that confidence could be completely shattered after 90 minutes against the classy French.
Games against hosts Ukraine and Sweden follow, where they will be huge favourites to pick up maximum points – a tag that England fail to deal with in major competitions. Remember Algeria at the 2010 World Cup?
Of course, it’s possible that a fresh start in the managerial department could be the boost England need to be able to perform to their potential in tournaments, but the odds of that look slim as it’s going to take time for any new man, Harry Redknapp or otherwise, to stamp his authority on a bunch of players, who’s egos are as big as their pay cheques.
Take the 15/8 available on the Three Lions to crash and burn in the group stage. It’s up there with one of the bets of the tournament.