Blogs & Opinion


Jamie Carragher looks at England's Euro 2016 qualifying group

Jamie Carragher - Jamie Carragher Posted 23rd February 2014 view comments

Jamie Carragher has labelled the extended Euro 2016 qualification campaign "a great opportunity for young players" .

England were drawn in Group E with San Marino, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia and Switzerland and Carragher believes it could be the dawn of a new generation.

"I think there's a great opportunity after the World Cup - whether [Roy Hodgson] takes young players or not - to really blood these young players," he said.

Roy Hodgson: handed a straightforward Euro group

Roy Hodgson: handed a straightforward Euro group

"You think of Luke Shaw at left-back, you think of Ross Barkley, players like that. Adam Lallana.

"There's plenty of young players coming through and even though it looks a lot easier to go through and the games may not as competitive as before, I think it's a great opportunity for young players."

The 2016 European Championship will feature 24 teams for the first time, and as such, the qualification process means the top two teams of each group are guaranteed entry.

Even though it looks a lot easier to go through and the games may not as competitive as before, I think it's a great opportunity for young players.

Jamie Carragher
Quotes of the week

Former England international Carragher continued: "In terms of the qualifiers for the Euros and how easy it is to qualify I can't see any way that England will not qualify. The toughest opponents are Switzerland within the group."

Glenn Hoddle, fellow former international and Sky Sports expert, agreed: "I don't think that looking at that group, Roy will have any sleepless nights before the World Cup.

"He has to give due respect to all those countries because some of them were emerging countries but we couldn't have asked for a better draw now the format is that the top two go through, you can even squeeze in by coming third.

"I think we will qualify from this group so it all bodes well."

Rooney

Carragher and Hoddle agreed that, regardless of the opponents, England need Wayne Rooney on top of his form at the World Cup and Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Regarding Rooney's new big-money contract at Manchester United, Hoddle believes the stability could benefit England.

"We just hope that's nice and settled so that he can go and perform as we all know he can do.

"It's just taking his club form into international football and I think it's something that Roy will sit down with him about before going into the tournament.

Carragher concluded: "I remember when he came onto the scene with Sven-Goran Eriksson at the Euros he was outstanding but now he's had two or three tournaments where he hasn't really reached the heights that you'd expect."

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Premier League round-up

Manchester United drew 1-1 away to Aston Villa on Saturday, as top-four rivals Man City and West Ham claimed home wins.

United held by 10-man Villa

Manchester United could not secure a seventh straight Premier League win as Aston Villa held on to a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.

Lamela stunner denies Burnley

A superb first Premier League goal from Erik Lamela helped Tottenham Hotspur beat Burnley 2-1 at White Hart Lane.

Austin the hat-trick hero

A Charlie Austin hat-trick inspired QPR to come back from two goals down to beat West Brom 3-2 at Loftus Road.

West Ham ease past Leicester

West Ham's strong home form continued as they eased to a 2-0 victory over a Leicester City at Upton Park.

Features

Tyne-Wear Derby: Ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is now a Newcastle favourite following his summer move

Tyne-Wear Derby: Ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is now a Newcastle favourite following his summer move

Former Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback has quickly won over the Newcastle fans and could be a key figure in the Tyne-Wear derby, writes Adam Bate...

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but Liverpool lack those Luis Suarez-like qualities

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but Liverpool lack those Luis Suarez-like qualities

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but the Arsenal forward's qualities are a clear example of what Liverpool are missing with Luis Suarez gone, writes Adam Bate...

Five classics

Five classics

Liverpool v Arsenal is a fixture steeped in history and with the pressure on both bosses ahead of their Super Sunday clash, this weekend’s meeting could be another one to remember.