The head coach of the England national football team, Gareth Southgate says he is condemned to deliver when the European Championship (Euro 2020) commences on June 11.
The English tactician who led England to a semi-final finish in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia would lead one of the most star-studded national teams in the world to the European Championship 8 days from now.
After a series of back and forth, he released his 26-man list for the competition on Tuesday, June 1, hours before the deadline UEFA set for the submission of the teams’ lists.
Based on the number of stars present in his squad, Gareth Southgate is not expected to under-perform at the European Championship or get knocked out before the semi-final stage of the competition.
Due to the fitness issues and club commitments of some of the players that made the squad, England’s camp might not be full until Friday night, June 4.
Hence, some of the players in Gareth Southgate’s squad will miss the country’s friendly game against Austria later today. The friendly game is expected to take place at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium in England.
However, all the players in the 26-man squad will be available when Romania national football team visit Riverside Stadium to play a friendly game against England on Sunday, June 7.
The European Championship which will be hosted at scattered venues across Europe will see England play most of their games at the Wembley Stadium in London. This could be an advantage to the Gareth Southgate-led team or a source of pressure on the team.
When asked whether less than a semi-final finish in the competition would be deemed a failure, Gareth Southgate said: “Yeah, it probably will.
“I think we’re realistic about that, we have to live with that expectation. We know the excitement around the team and it’s great, we’re now relevant.
“Expectations were lower (in 2018 World Cup in Russia). We’ve got some exciting players and I don’t think these players are at their peak by any means. I think when I look at some of the players working with us it’s so exciting for England in the future.
“I’ve got to try to manage the expectations for the players. I accept the situation as a manager, there’s an expectation, I have to deliver.
“We have to deliver as a group of staff, it’s not about me in terms of if we can be successful. But, of course, it’s about me if we fail. No problem, that’s the gig.
“But for the players, I’ve still got to bear in mind they are a young group, they have still got a lot of progressions to make, some are now learning how to win things, being involved in big matches. It’s brilliant for their progress and opportunities for England, that’s what we want.
“Are we ready to win? Well, we’ve been to two semi-finals so the next step is to try to go further.”
Below is the full list of players Gareth Southgate will work with during Euro 2020
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Sam Johnstone (West Brom), Jordan Pickford (Everton).
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Declan Rice (West Ham).
Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Phil Foden (Man City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Man City).