Wednesday 21 March 2018

Thrilling end to title race could inspire England to Euro 2016 glory

Jamie Vardy, left, and Kyle Walker could be key players for England at Euro 2016
Jamie Vardy, left, and Kyle Walker could be key players for England at Euro 2016

With the Premier League title sewn up thrillingly by Leicester, attention will soon turn to England's campaign at this summer's European Championship.

New talents have lit up the Premier League to provide genuine excitement ahead of the tournament in France but areas of concern remain as well.

Here, Press Association Sport assesses what the culmination of the title race tells us about England's hopes of success.


England boss Roy Hodgson will certainly hope to benefit from Leicester's success. Jamie Vardy may well have played himself into the starting line-up after his 24 goals this season, two of which came in England's matches against Germany and Holland. Wayne Rooney's retreat into midfield for Manchester United potentially opens up an avenue for Hodgson to play his captain, Vardy and Tottenham's Harry Kane all in the same side. Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater has also had a brilliant campaign and will be hopeful of making the squad.


No team is likely to provide more of Hodgson's key players than Tottenham. While Leicester will be buoyed by their unlikely success, Hodgson must hope the pain of missing out acts as a spur to the likes of Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker, who could all have major roles to play this summer. Tottenham still look likely to finish ahead of rivals Arsenal and achieved their main aim for the season by qualifying for the Champions League, so should not be too disheartened.


Hodgson may well have watched the 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham, which handed Leicester the title, from behind his sofa. It was an X-rated game with many of the main culprits being England players. Dier and Walker were particularly fortunate not to be sent off while Rose tussled with Willian and Kane was booked for a lunging tackle. Such a collective loss of discipline would certainly result in red cards at international level. Alli and Vardy, meanwhile, were sat on the sidelines this weekend through suspension.


England winning Euro 2016 is a virtual dead cert compared to the 5000-1 odds of Leicester lifting the Premier League trophy. If the Foxes' success this season has shown anything, it is that the seemingly impossible is possible after all. England should head into the tournament optimistic that they can challenge Europe's fellow big boys and, who knows, just maybe get their hands on some long-awaited silverware.

Press Association

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