Euro 2012 is around the corner and England—minus Fabio Capello—face a daunting task of winning their first European Championship.
The English don't even have a permanent manager yet.
In fact, I'll boldly say they won't even qualify out of their group—it will be Euro 2000 all over again.
Here are five reasons why England have no hope of winning Euro 2012.
Micah Richards, the best right-back in the Premier League, didn’t even get a look-in with Fabio Capello at the reins.
But the Italian selected an aging David Beckham, who didn’t score a goal and only provided one assist in 16 appearances.
Even without Capello, you look at Stuart Pearce’s 25-man squad to face the Netherlands and you just have to shout out: “Where’s the Ox?”
In the Premier League, Stewart Downing has scored zero goals from 49 shots and provided no assists from 144 crosses.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has more talent in his opposite foot than Downing has in his entire body.
It’s astonishing how Pearce, the under-21 manager, is too scared to call up Chamberlain.
What’s Fraizer Campbell doing in the squad?
If Pearce wanted to go for a left-field selection, he should have called up Danny Graham or Gary Hooper, who are actually scoring goals.
Joleon Lescott can actually defend whereas Gary Cahill can’t, but somehow Cahill is selected over Lescott.
It’s no surprise that in Chelsea’s two most important games of the season (so far), with Cahill starting, the team conceded six goals.
The goalkeeper position is a moot point because Joe Hart is the undisputed No. 1. But, instead of going for Scott Carson as a reserve, why not give Fraser Forster a chance?
Positions in the national team should be granted on form—which isn’t reflected by some of Pearce’s selections.
Whoever replaces Fabio Capello will be drinking from a poisoned chalice.
The new manager will be given three months to implement his philosophy, his tactics and possibly a new formation.
Mind you, this process would be made easier if Harry Redknapp takes over, since he is a simplistic manager.
Let’s have a look at recent Euro winning managers:
Euro 2008: Luis Aragonés started managing Spain in 2004.
Euro 2004: Otto Rehhagel started managing Greece in 2001.
Euro 2000: Roger Lemerre started managing France in 1998.
Euro 1996: Berti Vogts started managing Germany in 1990.
Euro 1992: Richard Møller Nielsen started managing Denmark in 1990.
In-short, don’t expect much from the new manager of England because he doesn't have enough time.
If you made a World XI right now, no Englishman would be a clear-cut selection.
That’s assuming you play three forwards. If you play two forwards, then Rooney wouldn’t even be considered.
Even if he was having a van Persie-like season, you still have to take into consideration that the Manchester United forward is suspended for the first two games.
Simply put, the English aren’t good enough to win Euro 2012.
You can bring up Otto Rehhagel’s Greeks, but he had three years to mastermind a defensive- and team-orientated strategy.
Whoever manages England will have three months.
Of the German’s latest squad, 15 of the 23 are 25 years or under. It would have been 16 if Mario Götze was fit.
Just to give you an indication of the youth orientated philosophy in Germany: Five percent of Hoffenheim’s players are over 30, and 52 percent of Schalke’s players are 25 years or under. Borussia Dortmund have seven established starters 23 years or under.
The Germans aren’t just young but world class, with the likes of Götze, Mats Hummels, Mesut Özil, Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer and Marco Reus.
Then add Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose and Mario Gómez.
The Spaniards are the reigning FIFA World Cup and European champions.
They have the best goalkeeper in the world (Iker Casillas), the best defensive midfielder in the world (Xabi Alonso) and the best playmaker in the world (Xavi).
Also throw in Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué, Cesc Fàbregas, Andrés Iniesta and David Silva.
Their depth in midfield is like the United States basketball team at point-guard.
The only way the English can beat Spain and Germany is to park the plane in front of goal and hope to score from a set-piece.
Evidently that worked in November against Spain.
Wayne Rooney's two-game suspension, coupled with Darren Bent's ruptured ankle ligaments, leave England quite bare up front.
They will be hoping Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck can rise to the occasion.
Sturridge hasn't played centrally for Chelsea this season and Welbeck isn't a permanent starter for Manchester United.
Without a world class forward like Rooney, England lose goals, creativity and incisive passing.
Please read Top 15 Player Outbursts.