By News Team
23rd April 2021
Paul Robinson believes England’s tag as favourites won’t be enough to win Euro 2020 this summer, as he says it’ll come down to beating the top teams, having luck on their side, and the Three Lions showing defensive solidity.
The former Spurs and England No.1 told William Hill that England have the quality to win this summer’s tournament, but it won’t be as easy as some say it’ll be to go all the way and lift the trophy at Wembley in July.
He said: “I think we’ve got the squad to do it (win the Euros) but I’m not sure it’ll be as easy as people are making it out to be.
“You can’t disregard France, if you look at the squad, players and attacking quality that they’ve got.
“Then you look at the No.1 team in the world, Belgium, then Spain, and even Italy, who under Roberto Mancini have been unbelievable and are on a long unbeaten run. That’s just three teams who England might have to beat to win this tournament.
“It could all depend on what side of the draw England get on if they get out the group stages. They have got the quality to go out and beat any of those teams on their day. There’s an element of luck involved too.”
He added: “I remember in 2006 when our squad was the clear favourites to win the World Cup, we didn’t perform particularly well but we got better as the tournament went on, and we were unlucky to lose on a penalty shootout.
“England have got the quality, as the attacking players are up there with the best in the world, but defensively they’ve got to prove themselves. They need to get their centre-back pairing right.
“John Stones has been decent this season and played really well at Manchester City, but recently we saw him outpaced against Stuart Dallas at the Etihad. Then, you worry if he’s up against the likes of Kylian Mbappe.
“It’s going to come down to defensive solidity if they are going to win the tournament because there’s no question of the attacking threat.”
Between the sticks, Robinson believes the Three Lions are in capable hands with a selection of outstanding talent for Gareth Southgate to choose from, and he believes the England boss could have a big decision on who to pick against Croatia in the first group stage match.
He said: “There’s a real good crop of English goalkeepers at the moment. In previous years we had the situation of it being David Seaman and two others to make up the squad. We’ve been guilty before of going to a tournament where there’s a keeper with 50 or 60 caps and taking a second or third choice with two or three between them.
“Now, if you look at the quality of what we’ve got, any of those three could play. Jordan Pickford is the man in possession for me at the moment, and I don’t see a reason to take him out. I think he’s got better in the friendlies before last, when he obviously missed the squad through injury, and the manager came out publicly and backed him as his number one.
“It was a clever piece of man management by the manager because Jordan Pickford has gone on to play better and his performances have improved and he’s never let Gareth Southgate down, so at the moment there’s no reason to replace him.”
He said: “For me, Nick Pope is next in line and proved that in the last international when he was given the nod over Dean Henderson, so he’s the number two. But then you’ve got Henderson who’s been given the No.1 jersey at Manchester United.
“So now you’ve got three fantastic goalkeepers who are all in very good form going into the tournament. The manager’s going to have a difficult decision. He gave Jordan Pickford the vote of confidence, but there’s nothing to suggest he can’t change that between now and the end of the season.
“Also, you can throw into the mix if Tom Heaton gets fit between now and the end of the season at Aston Villa, and Karl Darlow at Newcastle, who has been unlucky to lose his place, as well as Sam Johnstone. You start to dig deeper and see we’ve got a lot of goalkeeping talent in this country.”