WE WILL PREVAIL

England midfielder Steven Gerrard has said that he is extremely confident that the national team can overcome the disappointment they suffered at the Euro 2012 the form of penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Italy.

Steven Gerrard was one of the bright aspects of the England team at the Euro 2012. However, at the age of 32, it is unlikely that Steven Gerrard will be able to play at the Euro 2016. This calls for the replacement of one of the high profile players within the team and it is certainly not going to be easy. Gerrard reckons that Roy Hodgson should resort to using a number of young players in the World Cup qualifiers that will begin shortly after the start of the new season.

The technical deficiency of the England players came to the fore in the Euro 2012 after they were outclassed and outpaced by a number of opponents. Gerrard reckons that it is extremely vital that the English Football Association takes a hard look at the youth academy and the development of the youngsters in very much the same manner the Germans. After completely overhauling the youth academy almost a decade ago, Germany now compete for everything at the international level. Jack Wilshere is one of the few techniclly gifted players coming through.

“The education of the young kids is vital. But I hope it doesn’t take 10 years. I hope we’re good enough to improve and bridge the gap with these big teams before that. Keeping the ball – especially at this level – is fundamental. It’s key if you want to beat the big teams in these tournaments. You work so hard without it your opponent ends up running you into the ground and creating chances. Football’s a mad game at times. If we had won the penalty shoot-out we would have been through to the last four,” said Gerrard.