Justin Tallis England's Jack Grealish and Harry Kane applauding the fans after last night's win against Czech Republic at Wembley.
# Verdict
'We don't know if this is second gear for England or if this is their top gear'
Gavin Cooney and David Sneyd joined The Football Family to forecast what the remainder of Euro 2020 might have in store for England.

THEIR GROUP D campaign has concluded, but even after seeing England in action on three occasions at Euro 2020 it seems as if we’re no closer to ascertaining whether they’re actually any use.

With Gavin Cooney and David Sneyd in situ to offer their opinions, the latest episode of The Football Family podcast – which is available now to members of The42 – attempted to get to the bottom of the enigma that is this English team, as well as addressing several other Euros talking points.

Last night’s 1-0 win over Czech Republic at Wembley has sent Gareth Southgate’s side safely through to the knockout stages as group winners. However, England’s performances in the tournament to date have done little to improve their odds as potential outright winners.

Playing devil’s advocate in assessing their place among the contenders, host Paul Dollery asked if Southgate kept his cards close to his chest in the knowledge that his team were capable of reaching the last 16 without hitting top form.

“We don’t know if this is second gear for England or if this is their top gear, because we haven’t really seen them properly tested in so long,” said Gavin Cooney.

“The team is so conservative. They were a bit better in the first half last night, in the sense that at least they pushed Luke Shaw on a bit. We talked on the last podcast about the fact that the full-backs, Luke Shaw and Reece James, had three crosses between them in the game against Scotland. I think Shaw himself had four last night, which goes to show that particularly in the first half they did push on a little bit more.

“Maybe they’re conservative and they’re set up in a way to sit deep and counter against the better sides that’ll give you a bit more space. The Czechs gave them a bit of space last night but you’d imagine with the likes of Germany – if that’s who they come up against – they’ll get space in behind those wing-backs.”

England will have home advantage again next Tuesday as they begin to tackle the knockout stages, with the Germans, France and Portugal among their potential opponents.

Gavin added: “[England] are actually stronger in the areas where I was expecting them to be weak pre-tournament, but it’s just this slow build-up and they’re so passive through games.

“Whether they can flick that like a switch and turn it on against whoever they play in the last 16 remains to be seen.” 

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