Confused and timid: England journey through the past at Euro 2024

Southgate’s selection gambles are not paying off, especially on the left, with an early exit the likeliest outcome

The longer England’s malaise goes on, the more this begins to feel like a weird mesh of previous tournament disasters. After almost a decade of positive vibes and considered, thoughtful management under Gareth Southgate, the end is threatening to unravel in a way that was supposed to have been consigned to the past.

Never before have England looked so dysfunctional and misshapen under Southgate. Watching them labour to their 1-1 draw with Denmark at the Frankfurt Arena, it was hard not to conclude that it could have been Sven Göran-Eriksson, Fabio Capello or Roy Hodgson in the dugout. The only difference, perhaps, was that Sven’s “first half good, second half not so good” line did not even apply to this display. Confused, timid and exhausted, England were second best long before half-time.

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