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Waddle: England can win Euro 2024 after 'very kind' draw
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Adam Drury
Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane will aim to fire England to glory
Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane will aim to fire England to glory

Chris Waddle believes England can win Euro 2024 after their "very kind" draw.

The Three Lions will face Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia in Group C and will not face another group winner until the semi-finals should they top it.

And ex-international Waddle, who received 62 caps between 1985-91, is bullish about their chances.

He said: "I don't think the draw is a problem.

"Denmark are a good side, they will cause problems. Serbia can be dangerous but Slovenia are not a side you fear going into a major tournament.

"I just look at form of our players.

"June is a long way away but the main actors for England — Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka — are all playing well, scoring goals, making goals and are full of confidence.

"My concern for England has always been the back four, particularly in central defence. I don't know if Gareth [Southgate] knows his best partnership in there.

"Harry Maguire has never let Gareth down and he's had a lot of stick but he's back in the Manchester United team and I don't think he's doing too badly. 

"If he can get that right then the form of the attackers is ominous for everybody else."

Next Gazza

Jude Bellingham has 27 England caps aged 20
Jude Bellingham has 27 England caps aged 20

Bellingham is already being talked up as one of England's greatest ever young players and Waddle is equally excited by the Real Madrid phenomenon's potential.

And he sees similarities between the 20-year-old and another of the Three Lions' all-time greats.

Waddle said: "I remember when Gazza [Paul Gascoigne] came into the 1990 World Cup and there were questions about whether he'd shine.

"Gazza took it on and thought, 'I'm meant to be here'. Jude Bellingham could also go into this tournament and be the star player.

"Expectations are massive for the lad. If he can keep that form going then other teams will be running scared."

Other options

But Waddle does worry that Southgate's side lack strength in depth should the key men be kept quiet.

He said: "Teams will do their homework and know if you stop Bellingham and Kane, there are not many people to score the goals.

"Saka and Phil Foden chip in with a few but our best two players will be under the spotlight.

"An injury to either of them would be massive — particularly Kane, because we're not blessed with a lot of goalscorers at the minute.

"Ollie Watkins scores goals and can link play a bit like Kane. You'd probably say he's next in line but you could even play Bellingham as the No9 if Kane was to get injured.

"It's why we need our best players going into the tournament playing well and full of confidence."

Off the leash

James Maddison is in Chris Waddle's team to start Euro 2024
James Maddison is in Chris Waddle's team to start Euro 2024

Waddle hopes Southgate sets Egland up to play exciting, creative football at the Euros — rather than the stifling style that he believes has held the team back for decades.

He said: "We're still very conservative about flair players.

"We don't know how to use them. We didn't in the 70s and 80s and we still don't.

"We class players as luxuries and judge them for not running back. Let's judge them on what they do on the ball.

"It's why I'd play, Rice, Bellingham and Maddison in midfield. That trio can win games for us."


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