The progression of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the vast majority of sporting event organizers to postpone or even cancel their events, regardless of their scale and any following expenses. UEFA has announced that Euro 2020 has to follow a new schedule. The European Championship will be able to restart only in summer of next year. Although there is still a year to wait until the rescheduled tournament happens, we analyzed how England would have fared during the Championship had it gone as planned. This analysis was done with Football Manager’s assistance.
Gareth Southgate decided to snatch up Chelsea’s young talent Mason Mount and the goalkeeper, Sam Johnstone, from the West Bromwich Albion into England’s national team.
According to Football Manager, Joe Gomez and Fikayo Tomori got approval as center-backs. However, surprisingly, John Stones, Phil Jones, and Harry Maguire had to stay on the bench. As realistic as Football Manager may be, the Manchester United center-back staying on the sideline is not likely to happen.
Southgate also included Tammy Abraham, while Jadon Sancho did not appear in the line-up. If this had happened before the originally slated Euro 2020, the nation would be shocked.
England had a brilliant start with a 4-0 victory in a match against Sweden. However, what followed was a shocking result of a 2-0 loss to Greece. The Three Lions managed to recover with a 3-0 win in the game with Norway, proceeding with a tie with the Republic of Ireland.
Harry Kane scored five goals, one of them being a winning goal from the penalty spot while the others were doubles in games against Norway and Sweden.
In the quarter-final, the English national team faced Wales and scored twice in the closing three minutes, which guaranteed its advancement to the semi-final. Then, Abraham, Marcus Rashford, and Raheem Sterling scored for another tie, this time in a semi-final match against Croatia.
It was looking like a steady climb towards the Champions title until Football Manager 2020 decided that the Three Lions would repeat the semi-final heartache from the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 2020 did not become the year of sweet revenge for England, according to the simulation, as Croatia fired three goals between the 25th and 40th minute of the game.
Even though Mount managed to score a penalty with half an hour left on the clock, it did not have much effect on the course of the match. However, looking at Southgate’s picks of the players, one could hardly imagine a different outcome.
England’s Line Up for the Semi-Final
Football Manager put the renowned striker Abraham to play at right-wing. After all, he was lucky to be playing, unlike Raheem Sterling on the bench and Sancho watching the tournament from home.
The midfield did not seem to be secured enough either with Jordan Henderson being there alone.
With a fair deal of alterations, the team could have come out as the winner of Euro 2020. Football Manager’s decision, however, was to give a 1-0 win to Croatia against Spain in the finals.