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Gary Lim
Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sports

Football: 'England can win Euro 2016,' says ex-Arsenal man

The New Paper | Gary Lim | Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ray Parlour, the former Arsenal and England man.

England can forget about winning the World Cup in Brazil, said ex-Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour.

But they will be one of the favourites to win the 2016 European Championship, which will be held in France.

The reason for Parlour's optimism lies in the promising young players that pepper manager Roy Hodgson's 23-man World Cup squad.

The likes of Ross Barkley, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck lead a youth brigade aged 23 years and below.

Said the ex-England international: "If England reach the quarter-finals in Brazil, I consider that as a successful tournament."

"But I'm looking at two years' time, that's more important."

"The European Championship will come when these young players get a little bit more experience."

"It's more about getting the experience at the World Cup in Brazil."

"After that, I expect them to become one of the favourites to win the Euros."

"If they improve the way they do, I'm sure England will have a very good side."

SHOCK

"People talk about Germany, Holland, Spain as favourites, and Belgium are pretty decent as well, but I believe we will shock a few people in 2016."

However, Hodgson has also included a fair share of experienced players in his team to ensure that England are ready for their immediate assignment.

The Three Lions face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in a tough group phase.

That's where the big-match temperament of Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, James Milner and Steven Gerrard comes in handy. Said Parlour, 41: "It is always important to have some experience.

"There's a right blend."

"The likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Milner and Rooney are very experienced."

"The centre-half positions are important, and Gary Cahill has had a fantastic season."

"I was hoping that John Terry would change his mind and return to the England fold, because he and Cahill, for Chelsea, have been the two best centre halves of the league campaign."

"But there's Phil Jagielka, so that's fine."

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