Three clean sheets, seven points, top of Group D. What's not to like?
A lot, apparently. A cloud of pessimism hangs over England after they dragged themselves into the last 16 at Euro 2020 with an unconvincing 1-0 win over Czech Republic, a woeful goalless draw with Scotland, and a distant (but glorious) 1-0 win against Croatia.
So are the rest of Europe hoping to play Gareth Southgate's side or quaking in their boots at the thought? We got the views from our Eurosport colleagues in Germany (who await in the last 16), Spain, Italy and France ahead of the knockout stage.
City to wait for last-minute Kane deal - Paper Round
- The Euro 2020 group stage ends in brilliant chaos - The Warm-Up
- Round of 16 draw: England take on Germany, Belgium face Portugal
- Hayward: Grealish makes statement as he looks to justify Gazza comparisons
England have been criticised for being too conservative - is that the impression across Europe?
Tom Mueller (Eurosport Germany): "I expected them to be a way stronger attacking force when you look at their quality. I like the stability, but it is noticeable that they stop attacking and being creative once they take the lead. I think this can become a problem against better teams, because I'm not sure if they are the typical counter-attacking team. What happens if they concede first?"
Daniel Garcia Ecija (Eurosport Spain): "We share the feeling that England could have been less conservative in their first three games. Only two goals in three games is strange for an attack featuring Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane. Although it's true that the defence has been perfect, I think this security should have translated into more emphasis in attack."
Carlofilippo Vardelli (Eurosport Italy): "Yes, at least in Italy many think so. England produced 0.00 xG (expected goals) in the second half against the Czech Republic and, considering the amount of talent available, it seems like a waste. I understand the desire to not take risks, but I don't think this football is very profitable in the long term."
Louis Gilles (Eurosport France): "So far, it seems like England have done the minimum required. England give the impression that they're a very talented group, but struggle to create a team out of all their talent. It has not been a pleasure to watch them play."
'Southgate continues to baffle us there' - Why no Sancho for England?
Do you want to avoid England in the knockout stages?
Mueller (Germany): "After that Hungary game? Yes... but obviously we don't have a choice. Germany were great against Portugal, but have since showed that they cannot be trusted and still are a surprise bag. I still think a passive England would have a tough time against Germany's high press and their 3-4-3 system, plus Germany usually look way better against stronger and more attacking teams. But Hungary showed that you can hurt Germany easily with the right game plan. France showed it too. If England draw the right conclusions from those matches, they should be favourites."
Garcia Ecija (Spain): "No one wants to meet England. They have so much attacking quality and could easily blow you out if they are inspired. However, I'm sure that many teams would prefer to face England instead of Belgium, Italy or France. They know that if England play a bad game, they will have more chance to qualify."
Vardelli (Italy): "I would like to avoid them because anything can happen in 90 minutes, and teams that are good defensively play with more confidence. They remind me of Manchester United. Ugly but effective."
Where would you put England in the list of favourites?
Mueller (Germany): "They are definitely not in the top three (France, Belgium, Italy). And I would not put them in the top five either (Netherlands and maybe Spain). But they are definitely right behind with Germany."
Gilles (France): "After the group stage we cannot say they are in the top three. They're solid underdogs, just like Italy, Netherlands or Germany."
'More to come from us' - Southgate praises England and 'fabulous' Saka
What is England's biggest strength? What is England's biggest weakness?
Mueller (Germany): "Their biggest strength is defensive stability. I also liked the build-up and precise passes by John Stones and Harry Maguire, especially in the Czech Republic game. Their biggest weakness is the lack of ideas in attack and creativity in central midfield. I'm also surprised that Kane has not been involved yet. He's always dropping into midfield, as he's done with Tottenham, but this is not the right approach with world-class attacking players around him. He should be a constant threat in the box."
Garcia Ecija (Spain): "Their greatest strength is their attacking arsenal. From the midfield with players like Jack Grealish, Mason Mount or Phil Foden, to the forwards with Kane, Marcus Rashford, Sterling, Jadon Sancho... they should be able to score goals at any moment. The weakness is their inexperience. They are the second youngest team at Euro 2020 and, in a knockout game, that can be the difference between being in or out of the competition."
Vardelli (Italy): "Strengths: widespread talent and a defensive approach that seems to work. Weakness: Southgate and their bad habit of playing for the bare minimum."
Gilles (France): "First of all, the crowd! It will surely be a bonus for the players in the knockout phase. Then on the pitch, the strength is the defence for sure. Maguire's return is a blessing for the team, even though Tyrone Mings proved a good replacement. A strength which has turned into a weakness is their abundance of talent and their inability to make them play together. We made the comparison with the U21 French Team. In each competition, we say they have a "golden generation" and some of the best players in the world, but they inevitably fail to meet the expectations by losing against a supposedly "inferior" team. The impression we have is that since you have so many attacking options but no clear hierarchy determined, every Southgate line-up is questionable and can create a bit of drama internally."
Which player from England do you fear? Which player do you think is a weak link?
Mueller (Germany): "I liked Bukayo Saka in the last game and think Grealish and Mount are always dangerous. But fear is the wrong word... Weak link could be Luke Shaw, or the left-back in general, if they are playing against better teams. And Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice need to gain more confidence, even though I loved Phillips against Croatia."
Garcia Ecija (Spain): "The scariest player is Sterling. He is fast with good dribbling and is a good finisher. He can score even if he is not playing well. The weakest player may be Shaw. Attacking his flank, knowing that he presses up a lot, could be a tactic for opponents."
Gilles (France): "Phillips has been really impressive so far for England. And the obvious weak link is Kane. He showed a slight improvement against the Czech Republic, but his overall performance is very worrying. We even wrote an article about it, because he's clearly not at 100% at the moment."
Finally, has there been much talk about Jadon Sancho not starting?
Mueller (Germany): "YES! Lots of talk in Germany as you can imagine. Nobody really understands why Southgate has only given him six minutes in three games, even though the attack looked more like three cats than three lions. He has to give up a bit of defensive stability to become more dangerous offensively and I think Sancho is the right man for that. He does not necessarily need to start, but he can bring a lot of energy from the bench - if he gets more than the last 20 minutes."
Vardelli (Italy): "It is a conversation that is almost always repeated in international competitions. The competition is short, the coach doesn't trust a particular player and this poor guy always stays on the bench. From my point of view it is a waste, because Sancho is a special player."
Spurs and Kane wait for Man Utd bid to challenge City offer – reports
Real to wait for Mbappe after he tells PSG he will not sign new deal - Paper Round