The Three Lions may not be primary favourites for Euro 2020, but they are among the teams tipped to rival the likes of France and give them a run for their money. After Friday’s dull, spineless performance against Scotland, though, it is fair to say Gareth Southgate’s side still have a very long way to go.
The current England squad is undoubtedly one of the most talented, however, it has its own cracks and they were stripped bare against Scotland.
Resilient Scotland rattled England
The mood on social media before the game suggested many were tipping the Three Lions to have an easy game. After all, they were in better form and Scotland had also lost their opening group game to the Czech Republic.
However, what some forgot was that Steve Clarke’s side did very little wrong in their defeat to the Czechs. They were gallant throughout the 90 minutes and never stopped trying.
That is the same spirit they brought into the game against England. The English players were expecting a rollover but, by the 20th minute, Scotland’s performance had Southgate's men rattled.
The energy levels of Andy Robertson and Co. were simply unreal. And they were unlucky not to have won the game, having gone close to scoring a number of times through Che Adams, Lyndon Dykes and Stephen O’Donnell.
Three Lions given massive reality check
Scotland’s resilience was one thing, but England’s own ineptitude on the pitch was another. The Three Lions looked clueless as they watched their opponents outplay them.
Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden rarely had any service to thrive on, while Harry Kane was isolated as he struggled to even touch the ball. Their coach’s substitutions didn’t help much, either.
“I think it was a frustrating night, we know we can play better. [You've] got to give Scotland credit, they defended valiantly and played well,” Southgate admitted after the game, as quoted by Goal.
"We didn't do enough to win the game but the thing we have to worry about in tournament football after that is we had to make sure we didn't lose it. The whole team can look at ourselves, [and] that starts with me - we've got to be better. We didn't do enough to win the game tonight, [wit] not enough attempts on goal,” concluded the England coach.
Scotland gave England a massive reality check. The Three Lions may have a very good squad but they still have work to do in order to put themselves in the running to win Euro 2020.