Former India skipper Bhaichung Bhutia on Tuesday said he does not think that England manager Gareth Southgate has the expertise to take the side all the way in the upcoming European Championships.
Euro 2020 is set to kick off on June 11 and England will lock horns against Croatia in their opening match of the tournament on June 13.
Jesse Lingard has been left out of England squad while Trent Alexander-Arnold has been ruled out due to an injury. The Football Association (FA) had named Ben White as a replacement for the injured Arnold. “England is still one of the favourites and they are playing at home as well. If you look at the team they have, they have the best-talented players in the entire world. You had two English clubs playing the Champions League final, you had one English club playing the Europa League final. That shows English football and the players are there and they are talented. You have Harry Kane who has been the top-scorer in the Premier League so when you have that kind of talent, I do not see one or two players missing especially in the defence side like Alexander-Arnold impacting the team too much,” said Bhutia while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference facilitated by broadcaster Sony.
“There is too much talent in the squad. My only setback is I do not know whether Gareth Southgate has got that touch and that little expertise to really take them all the way as a manager. I am not too sure, his idea and his system, his concept, his theory of football is something which we will have to see. This England team is a gifted unit and if he can utilise that potential, I think they are going to go all the way, but I am not sure that he has got that,” added the 44-year-old who will be one of the panelists on Sony Sports Network for Euro 2020. When ANI asked Bhutia about France’s chances in the upcoming competition, he said: “I think N’Golo Kante has gotten an engine. He is never getting tired. He has had a long season, but I do not think he is a player who is getting to get tired. For me, if France as a team does well and goes on to win Euro 2020, then I think, Kante has got a great chance to become the Footballer of the Year because he has had a great season, he is an unsung hero everywhere he has played, he is a great player.”
“France is one of the favourites to win the Euro 2020, they have brought back Karim Benzema and how that is going to affect the chemistry on and off the field, he was dropped because he did not have a great relationship with the manager Didier Deschamps and players like Giroud. Now, he is back and it depends on how the manager manages him. But again as I said, France is the favourites and if they reach the finals or win Euro 2020, N’Golo Kante is going to be the footballer of the year for me,” he added. (ANI)