Euro 2020: Three Things We Have Learned

First things first, how great has it been to see stadiums in near full attendance? It’s been well over a year at the time of writing that we have been able to see stadiums anywhere near capacity and is a great sign for normality resuming in the near future. 

Major international tournaments are always exciting and most definitely have fans around the world up for the occasion and right behind their respective nations. As a Sunderland fan, a break from club football is always something to look forward to… 

The Euros is a tournament in which fans get to see world class players perform on the biggest stage and put on a show. Which they certainly have this year!

With the final looming on Sunday, I thought I’d take a look at three things the Euro’s has taught us this year

1- Turkey weren’t really ‘Dark Horses’ at all…

One of the most exciting aspects of any international tournament is briefly scouting the underdogs and putting your faith in one side to exceed expectations. This year, Turkey were the national side that many fans labelled as the ‘Dark Horses’ of the tournament and expected them to perform better than many would forecast. 

That wasn’t quite the case…

Turkey were eliminated in the group stages of the tournament albeit in a fairly tough group. Italy, Wales and Switzerland found themselves in Group A alongside Turkey with Italy topping the group. No surprises there…

Despite having some incredibly talented players including Calhanoglu, Soyuncu and recently crowned Ligue 1 champion; Burak Yilmaz, Turkey finished bottom of the group, failing to accumulate a single point in their three games. 

A 3-0 defeat to Italy, a 2-0 defeat to Wales and a 3-1 defeat to Switzerland meant Turkey would be eliminated having scored just once. 

There’s always next time…

2- VAR can be used correctly…

If you follow the English game and in particular, the Premier League, you will be well aware of the criticism that is aimed at VAR on a weekly basis. Rightfully so. 

However the way it has been implemented throughout the Euro’s has been nothing short of flawless. Quick decisions and very little room for debate! 

As always in football, there has been the occasional decision that has raised a few eyebrows but overall, it’s use has really complemented the game. It has however highlighted how poor the general officiating in England is. Ironically, one of the worst decisions of the tournament arriving in the same game that was marshalled by English officials. Take of that what you will…

3 – The future of England is looking bright

At the time of writing this, England are set to face Denmark in the semi final of the tournament, with Italy ready to face the winner. However, win or lose for England, many positives have arisen for the Three Lions. 

Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham, Reece James, Bukayo Saka and Jason Sancho were all named in Southgate’s 26 man squad. The latter having just agreed a huge £75m deal to join Manchester United. Not only were they included in the squad, they have all impressed when they have been called upon and really staked a claim for their place in the side. 

Despite a slow start the tournament, Harry Kane found his scoring boots against Ukraine and then again against Germany in the quarter final. Still only 27 years old, Kane will have a huge role to play in future tournaments alongside the likes of Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling who both demonstrated their footballing excellence throughout. 

To say it’s a golden generation for England would be a huge understatement. Numerous players with the potential to go to the very top of the game, some of which are already there. Here’s hoping they can bring it home this year ?

What have you taken away from this years Euro tournament? Let us know!

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