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England's 'golden generation' are remembered by many as a group of serial underachievers at international level, but why did they fail to live up to the hype? For years, It was - and still is - a case of what could have been.
Given the incredible talent at their disposal, especially considering their success at club level, this particular side from the mid 00's featuring the likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and John Terry should have at least reached a World Cup final.
They were tipped to bring it home on numerous occasions, especially at the 2004 European Championships in Portugal, where Sven-Goran Eriksson fielded a team full of star names in the group stages of the competition and beyond.
For example, this line-up to face Switzerland in Coimbra, Portugal that year would have beaten any team in the world on their day, especially with an in-form Wayne Rooney banging in the goals on a regular basis. But it was never meant to be.
Still trying to work out... pic.twitter.com/n81zI29bGB- Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) March 12, 2021
Seven years on from that tournament, where hosts Portugal eventually knocked England out at the quarter-final stage after a wink from Ronaldo and a dramatic penalty shoot-out - many are still talking about how The Three Lions didn't win a trophy with the Golden Generation.
In fact, Paul Scholes, who was deployed on the left wing by Eriksson on a number of occasions [much to the annoyance of many] was trending on Twitter earlier because of the fierce debate. What went wrong? Should they have won a trophy?
Who the fuck thought playing a 4-4-2 with three of the best midfielders in the world was a good idea?- Football Analytics #YNWA (@FtblProf) March 13, 2021
WHO THE FUCK? https://t.co/gsqHhzrxWY
Imagine Sven wasn't shit, and played everyone to their strengths...- Abu Hafsah (@Shazzi_07) March 13, 2021
A diamond midfield - scholes DLP, Becks RCM, Gerrard LCM, and lampard as the CAM playing off Rooney and Owen. https://t.co/R8PJgOed8O
Scholes on the wing should never have happened https://t.co/qUPF2oR74k- Adam Robbo (@Adam_Robbo) March 13, 2021
Imagine what man like Pep would have done with this side https://t.co/gJm9zaRZ6u- ♂️ (@AdzTheCoach) March 13, 2021
In hindsight... David James in goal, ZERO pace on the wings, Paul Scholes left mid, giving Stevie that toxic number 4 shirt and asking him to do Lampard's running instead of building the team around him. Also injuries and stupid red cards. https://t.co/wgXQdqERuS- Paul (Maych) Machin (@ThePaulMachin) March 13, 2021
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: BBC/PA
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