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The new Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard: Jude Bellingham-Phil Foden dilemma threatens to define another England golden generation

Major tournaments often throw up a deep sense of déjà vu where England are concerned. At first there is huge hype in the build-up stemming from players having had great seasons for their clubs. An underwhelming start tends to follow, accompanied by an outburst of rage across the nation. There are some flashes of joy before an inevitable exit in the knockouts to the first good team they face, invariably on penalties.

Gareth Southgate, however, broke the mould. His England sides were characterised by humility and the greater good was prioritised over individual egos. As a result, tournaments became genuinely enjoyable occasions. But two games into Euro 2024, after an unconvincing win over Serbia and a dismal draw with Denmark, it feels like the bad old days again.

And Southgate is responsible for the messy performances after walking into the familiar trap that plagued many of his predecessors: trying to cram as many star players into the team as possible without much thought as to how they function together.

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