Euro 2024: England limp to the knockout stage

England topped their group with a draw against Slovenia but the performance, once again, left much to be desired
England v Slovenia: Group C - UEFA EURO 2024
England v Slovenia: Group C - UEFA EURO 2024 / Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

England came in to Euro 2024 as one of the tournament favorites. Following an arduous win against Serbia, a poor performance in the draw against Denmark and somehow an even worse one against Slovenia, many are reconsidering that stance.

As mentioned, England drew 0-0 against Slovenia in their last game of the group stage. Gareth Southgate threw in the towel in his Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield experiment and opted for Conor Gallagher.

Southgate's one change had little to no effect on a midfield that looked lost and an attack that looked feeble. While Slovenia didn't put as much pressure on England as Denmark, they still looked threatening at times.

The boos rained down at the final whistle despite England progressing to the knockout stage and finishing atop Group C. The frustration from the England fans was apparent as they hurled beer cups at Southgate when he went over to applaud them after the end of the match.

"I understand it," Southgate said. "I'm not going to back away from it. The most important thing is we stay with the team. I understand the narratvie towards me. That's better for the team than it being towards them but it is creating an unusual environment to operate in. I've not seen any other team qualify and receive similar."

Again, England entered the tournament as one of the favorites. Their display in all three games has been disappointing, to put it lightly, and had they been drawn into a tougher group, given what we've seen, they could easily have been heading home early.

England have an embarrassment of riches and as many have mentioned, count on the likes of Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham, one the top scorer in the Bundesliga and the other the best player last season in LaLiga. Add to that Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice, England have more than enough than having to hang on to a draw against Denmark.

"The main objective from the start of the Euro was to qualify and we've done that," Kieran Trippier said after the game. "We've topped the group, but we know the performances haven't been there. We are an honest group. We know we can do better, I'll admit that."

If there is any silver lining for England is they are on the "easier" side of the knockout stage bracket. While their opponent is still unknown -- at the time of this writing -- should they get past them, then they'll face the winner of Switzerland v Italy. To put it in perspective, the other side of the bracket has Germany, Spain, France and Portugal.


The pressure is on Gareth Southgate to make the adequate changes. While England may not need to be at their best in their next game, odds are the opponents are only going to get tougher. In the last Euros, where they made it to the final, they didn't play one of the elite teams until the final where they lost to Italy. If things going the way they're going, England could very well be eliminated well before then and not by one of the "elite" national sides.