grading every england players euro 2020
grading every england players euro 2020

Grading every England player’s Euro 2020

The rollercoaster that was Euro 2020 is over, and it was a memorable one for England for all sorts of reasons.

Gareth Southgate’s men made it all the way to the final – their first time there since 1966 – and gave fans one of the most memorable summers they have ever seen. It might not have ended well, but the overwhelming feeling is one of positivity.

Let’s grade every player’s performance.

Jordan Pickford

Pickford was outstanding / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Pickford didn’t concede a goal until the semi-final and was a driving force behind England’s success.

He made some excellent saves and looked like a real leader at the back, blossoming into the kind of players fans have always wanted him to be.

Aaron Ramsdale

Ramsdale was on the fringes / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

There were no minutes for Ramsdale, who spent one game out of the squad before ending the tournament on the bench.

Sam Johnstone

Johnstone spent the whole summer on the bench / Pool/Getty Images

Like Ramsdale, we didn’t see any of Johnstone this summer.

Harry Maguire, Declan Rice

A tournament to remember for Maguire / Alessandra Tarantino – Pool/Getty Images

Southgate took a huge risk by naming Maguire to his squad, but the gamble absolutely paid off.

After returning to the lineup for the final group game against the Czech Republic, Maguire looked like he hadn’t missed a beat. He was dominant at both ends of the field and looked like one of the best centre-backs in Europe. A spot in the Team of the Tournament was well earned.

John Stones

Stones continues to rebuild his reputation / Carl Recine – Pool/Getty Images

Stones took a bit of a back seat to Maguire for the majority of the tournament, but there’s nothing wrong with that. He was England’s second centre-back and did his job incredibly well.

Just 12 months ago, the idea of Stones keeping five straight clean sheets at the Euros was laughable. Now, it’s a reality.

Tyrone Mings

Mings did his job admirably / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Mings knew he was always just a stand-in for Maguire, but he did his job admirably in the first two matches, making crucial blocks in both.

We’ve also bumped his grade up slightly for bodying Priti Patel on Twitter after the final. You love to see it.

Ben White

There were no minutes for White / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

This tournament will have been a valuable experience for White, who always knew his chances of playing were slim.

Conor Coady

Coady impressed behind the scenes / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Another player to see zero minutes, Coady still managed to boost his reputation with an important dressing room role that saw Steve Holland name him the ‘Player of the Tournament’.

Luke Shaw

Shaw looked like a real star / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Shaw was glued to the bench for the first game, with Southgate preferring to go with an out-of-position Kieran Trippier, but the boss’ eyes were opened soon after.

Brought back in for game two, Shaw erupted and spent the rest of the tournament looking like the best player on the team. His masterclass against Ukraine in the quarter-final will live long in the memory.

Ben Chilwell

Chilwell was kept on the bench / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Because of Shaw’s brilliance and Trippier’s versatility, Chilwell spent most of the tournament outside the matchday squad.

Kyle Walker

Walker looked great eventually / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

It was a slow start to the tournament for Walker, who stunk it up at Wembley in the opening game against Croatia. He was dropped from the squad for the Scotland game but figured himself out upon his return.

Spending his time switching between right-back and centre-back, Walker proved his value to England with some excellent performances, including a show-stealing effort against Denmark.

Kieran Trippier

Trippier did his job well / Robin Jones/Getty Images

Similarly unconvincing early on, Trippier was poor against Croatia and then didn’t feature for the rest of the group stage. He spent the rest of the tournament as a reserve, only coming in when Southgate went for the 3-4-3 formation.

Fortunately for Trippier, he was excellent in that setup. He was dominant against Germany and bagged the assist for Shaw’s goal in the final. A solid shift for the Atletico man.

Reece James

James played limited minutes / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

James played just once this summer, and that outing just so happened to be in England’s worst performance, the 0-0 draw with Scotland.

James didn’t do anything wrong, but he didn’t do enough to force himself ahead of Trippier or Walker in the pecking order.

Declan Rice

Rice was massive on the biggest stage / Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

If you want to know why West Ham value Rice so highly, just check out his highlights package from this summer.

The 22-year-old was dominant against Denmark and one of England’s brightest sparks against Italy. He’s England’s starting anchor, no doubt.

Kalvin Phillips

Phillips was stunning against Croatia / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Phillips almost ended up being a victim of his own stunning performance against Croatia in the opening game. He was absolutely sublime in that match but didn’t always maintain that level.

That’s not to say Phillips was bad – far from it. He fully merited his spot as an undisputed starter, but the only minor downside was his struggles to match the dominance of his first outing.

Jordan Henderson

Henderson did not start a game / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Henderson didn’t start a match this summer, and that’s down to a combination of factors. He was carrying an injury in the build-up, but also couldn’t do enough to force his way past Rice or Phillips.

As a squad player, he absolutely did his job. He helped close matches out and even bagged his first international goal against Ukraine. A summer to remember – although it could have been so much better.

Jude Bellingham

Bellingham was temporarily the youngest player in Euros history / Lars Baron/Getty Images

Bellingham had his moment in the spotlight and held the record for the youngest player in Euros history for all of a few days, before Kacper Kozlowski took it from him.

The teenager only managed a few cameo appearances towards the ends of matches, so we didn’t get to see as much of his as we would have liked.

Mason Mount

Mount’s importance to England was clear / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Despite a COVID-enforced blip early on, Mount was in line for a higher grade before a frustrating performance in the final.

He shone in the knockouts, grabbing an assist against Ukraine and picking Denmark about in the semi-final, but Italy’s midfield was just a little too much for him.

Raheem Sterling

Sterling was England’s star / John Sibley – Pool/Getty Images

After an underwhelming season with Manchester City, Sterling stole the show at Euro 2020 with stunning performance after stunning performance.

Had England won in the final, he would easily have won the Player of the Tournament award.

Marcus Rashford

Rashford had a rough few weeks / Paul Ellis – Pool/Getty Images

Fitness struggles meant Rashford probably should have stayed home this summer. He wasn’t healthy enough to start and was only given short bursts off the bench.

Rashford didn’t do much in his limited minutes, and he came up short in the final when he sent his penalty crashing wide off the post. A tricky few weeks for the forward.

Phil Foden

Foden’s tournament fizzled out / Andy Rain – Pool/Getty Images

Copying Gazza’s haircut was a bold shout from Foden, and it didn’t really pay off.

He nearly scored with his first shot of the tournament but saw his involvement peter out slowly after that. He started the first two group games and then saw just 25 minutes off the bench against Denmark which, admittedly, were pretty solid. Just not enough.

Jack Grealish

Grealish was a fan-favourite / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

If Grealish had any doubts over how beloved he is by English fans before the tournament, he’ll be well aware of his fame now.

He had to settle for a limited role, but Grealish caused a deafening roar just by getting up to warm up. He had good games against the Czech Republic and Germany but will have wanted more minutes.

Jadon Sancho

Sancho saw his minutes limited / Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

With a £73m move to Manchester United going on in the background, it’s safe to say that most expected a little more from Sancho this summer.

The winger only made three appearances, two of which made up a combined seven minutes, and he also missed a penalty in the final. Sancho excelled in his only real opportunity against Ukraine, but that was all we got from him.

Bukayo Saka

Saka was a revelation / Facundo Arrizabalaga – Pool/Getty Images

After he was given the nod for the final group stage game, Saka didn’t look back.

The 19-year-old was superb against the Czechs and Germany, and after sitting out the quarter-final through injury, he did a solid job in the semi-final. A missed penalty in the final shouldn’t detract from his success.

Harry Kane

Kane took a while to get going / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Kane’s final grade is dragged down by an abysmal start to the tournament which saw him do almost nothing in the group stage. Amid rumours of a £150m transfer to City, it’s safe to say Kane was a little underwhelming.

Fortunately, he picked himself up in the knockout stages, bagging four goals in three games to help England through to the final, where he was as underwhelming as the rest of his fellow forwards.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Calvert-Lewin struggled for minutes / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Calvert-Lewin played a predictably small role behind Kane and was limited to just 18 minutes across two games.

The Everton man was left out of the squad for two of the four knockout games as well, with Southgate making it abundantly clear that he was only there to make up the numbers.

Plus, he was exposed for being awful at darts.