The crisis crept up on Gareth Southgate.
Just 14 months ago, England was playing in a European Championship final — and coming oh-so-close to winning it — backed by fans who rediscovered their connection with the national team.
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Monday:
MILAN (AP) — England coach Gareth Southgate is taking inspiration from his rugby counterpart, Eddie Jones, by continuing to pick valued players even if they are not regularly competing at the highest level.
The imminent prospect of relegation from the Nations League's elite is unlikely to worry Gareth Southgate.
What might be troubling the England coach far more is the fitness issues, poor form or fragile club status of some of his key players two months out from the World Cup.
England midfielder Kalvin Phillips withdrew from the national team squad on Tuesday because of a shoulder injury in a concern for coach Gareth Southgate ahead of the World Cup.
Phillips was replaced by central midfielder Jordan Henderson, with England playing Nations League games against Italy and Germany over the next week.
LONDON (AP) — Ivan Toney was called up by England for the first time on Thursday, giving the Brentford striker an unlikely shot at making Gareth Southgate's squad for the World Cup.
Toney, a tall center forward who links up play well and is a great penalty-taker, was playing for Peterborough in England's third division two years ago.
Harry Maguire has been dropped by Manchester United despite being its club captain and the most expensive defender in soccer history.
The big question now: How will that affect his place in England's team ahead of the World Cup?
WOLVERHAMPTON, England (AP) — England suffered its worst home defeat since 1928 with a 4-0 loss to Hungary in the Nations League on Tuesday.
Less than a year after reaching the European Championship final on home soil to raucous celebrations, England was booed by its own fans after a heavy loss to an unheralded Hungary team that completed a double after upsetting England last week.
MUNICH (AP) — Harry Kane’s late penalty earned England a 1-1 draw in Germany in their Nations League game on Tuesday, when Italy and Turkey registered wins.
Kane slotted the equalizer from the spot in the 88th minute, though there was controversy over referee Carlos del Cerro Grande’s decision to award it after a VAR check as Kane looked to be offside before going down in a tangle with Germany defender Nico Schlotterbeck.
ROME (AP) — England slumped to its first loss to Hungary in six decades by 1-0 in the Nations League on Saturday.
Dominik Szoboszlai converted a second-half penalty after being fouled by Reece James.
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — England players were jeered while taking the knee ahead of a Nations League loss at Hungary where the crowd of 30,000 was mainly filled with children on Saturday.
The youngsters were allowed into the stadium despite Hungary being ordered to play the game without fans as a punishment for racially abusing opposing players and holding up anti-gay banners at the European Championship last year.
LONDON (AP) — Jarrod Bowen was rewarded for his breakthrough season at West Ham by earning his first call-up to the England squad ahead of four Nations League games next month.
Bowen, who scored 12 goals and had 10 assists in the Premier League, was joined in England's 27-man squad by Leicester fullback James Justin.
LONDON (AP) — England coach Gareth Southgate criticized the fans who jeered Harry Maguire before and during the team's 3-0 win over the Ivory Coast on Tuesday.
“I thought the reception was a joke, an absolute joke," Southgate said of the boos of some England fans when Maguire's name was read out at Wembley Stadium.
LONDON (AP) — Struggling for form at Manchester United, Marcus Rashford was overlooked again by England in its squad for upcoming friendly matches against Switzerland and the Ivory Coast.
Rashford hasn't played for his country since the European Championship final against Italy in July, when he was one of three England players to miss in a penalty-shootout loss.
It wasn’t so long ago that Marcus Rashford was widely and fondly viewed as English soccer’s national treasure.
This week, though, is set to underscore his declining status for both club and country.
LONDON (AP) — Molineux, the home stadium of Premier League team Wolverhampton, is set to host an England men’s international for the first time in more than 65 years.
England will play two Nations League matches — against Italy and Hungary — there in June, the Football Association said Thursday, continuing the trend of taking the national team’s fixtures on the road and away from London’s Wembley Stadium.
LONDON (AP) — U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu was voted the BBC’s sports personality of the year Sunday to cap an incredible rise throughout 2021.
The 19-year-old Raducanu became the first-ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam singles title with her triumph in New York in September after not dropping a set in the tournament.
BURNLEY, England (AP) — West Ham’s Champions League ambitions were dealt a blow after David Moyes' team was held to a 0-0 draw at Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday.
West Ham has recently beaten Chelsea and Liverpool while giving Manchester City a run for its money to sit in fourth place on merit, but the team found Burnley — a side in the relegation zone — a more difficult proposition than expected in a tight encounter at Turf Moor.
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Ezri Konsa scored twice as Aston Villa rallied to beat Leicester 2-1 in the Premier League on Sunday and continue its revival under Steven Gerrard.
The defender’s first goals in 13 months — in front of watching England coach Gareth Southgate — came after Harvey Barnes opened the scoring in the 14th minute.
LONDON (AP) — England's most successful manager for more than half a century, Gareth Southgate has agreed to stay in the job until 2024.
The 51-year-old Southgate isn't ready for a return to club coaching just yet, especially when there's a chance to improve on reaching the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup and the final of this year's European Championship.
SERRAVALLE, San Marino (AP) — England hit double figures in goals in a competitive game for the first time to power into the World Cup on Monday.
Harry Kane enjoyed himself, in particular, in the embarrassingly one-sided 10-0 win over San Marino that secured England first place in Group I of European qualifying.
Gareth Southgate once said he’d love to pick six right backs in his England squads, such are the national team’s riches in that position.
A glance at the attacking statistics in this season’s Premier League shows just why.
For all the improvements made by England under Gareth Southgate — and reaching the World Cup semifinals and European Championship final suggests there are many — one major problem has been holding the team back.
LONDON (AP) — Fikayo Tomori earned a recall to England's squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary, with coach Gareth Southgate saying on Thursday the center back has been rewarded for impressive performances in high-pressure games for AC Milan.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United captain Harry Maguire could be sidelined for “a few weeks” with a calf injury, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Tuesday.
The center back was injured in a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday and will miss United's match against Spanish team Villarreal in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — England conceded in the second minute of stoppage time to draw 1-1 at Poland on Wednesday and drop points for the first time in qualifying for next year’s World Cup.
Harry Kane’s goal from a powerful 30-meter shot in the 72nd minute looked like it would give England a sixth straight win in Group I but, in a rare sight of goal for Poland, Damian Szymanski headed home from a cross by Robert Lewandowski.
LONDON (AP) — There wasn’t just missing out on the European title for a crestfallen and weary Gareth Southgate to contemplate.
The fallout from England fans’ boorish behavior was proving as painful for the coach and the nation on Monday than the previous night’s Euro 2020 final loss to Italy.
LONDON (AP) — British police opened investigations Monday into the racist abuse of three Black players who failed to score penalties in England's shootout loss to Italy in the European Championship final.
LONDON (AP) — It all ended in a familiar consoling embrace for Gareth Southgate. Wrapping his arms around Bukayo Saka, the England coach felt the teenager's anguish.
Having a decisive penalty saved in a European Championship match at Wembley Stadium can be such a lonely experience.
The Latest on soccer’s European Championship:
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sent his best wishes to the “incredible” England soccer team ahead of the European Championship final against Italy.
LONDON (AP) — Pirlo’s “Panenka.” Schillaci’s Golden Boot clincher. Another emotional goal celebration from Marco Tardelli.
The major-tournament rivalry — if it can be called that — between Italy and England has been marked by a few stand-out moments, and they all belong to the Italians.
The Latest on soccer’s European Championship:
Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand says he cannot understand how a decisive penalty was awarded against his team in the 2-1 loss to England in the European Championship semifinals.
LONDON (AP) — Five games, no goals conceded.
England’s defense at the European Championship has proved to be an impenetrable part of Gareth Southgate’s winning formula in the team's run to the semifinals.
ROME (AP) — Having overcome historic rival Germany in the last 16, facing Ukraine might seem like an easier proposition for England.
Turns out, though, that Saturday’s quarterfinal match at the Stadio Olimpico might be England’s toughest test of the European Championship.
LONDON (AP) — As the Wembley Stadium announcer roared the final score — “England 2, Germany 0" — Gareth Southgate's vision was momentarily diverted from his victorious players to the big screen.
Shown beaming from the VIP seats, reveling in England's passage to the European Championship quarterfinals on Tuesday, were David Beckham and Ed Sheeran.
The Latest on soccer’s European Championship:
Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer saved a penalty kick from Kylian Mbappe in a penalty shootout to knock France out of the European Championship.
LONDON (AP) — When you train on the Sir Bobby Charlton Pitch, it’s hard to escape the burden of past glory.
And when Gareth Southgate is your coach, it’s even harder for the England players to escape the anguish that can come from playing Germany at a tournament.
BURTON-ON-TRENT, England (AP) — Regardless of how England’s European Championship campaign ends, or even the team’s showing at next year’s World Cup, Gareth Southgate will be staying in the coach’s job for years to come.
BURTON-ON-TRENT, England (AP) — FaceTime calls with their teammates. Ed Sheeran performing under their windows. And hours spent watching Netflix.
Separated from their England teammates, Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell are trying to fill the days until they can end self-isolation at their St.
LONDON (AP) — Bukayo Saka was put on the field to turn possession into penetration, to create chances for an England team that had scored only one goal in two matches at the European Championship.
He did all that and more, but he still came up short in one particular area.
LONDON (AP) — At least England now knows it can rely on Raheem Sterling for goals.
The scoring touch missing at his last three tournaments has been rediscovered on home territory, and it gave his team first place in its group.
LONDON (AP) — With a place in the round of 16 secured before taking to the field again, England has a chance to rediscover its attacking flair against the Czech Republic on Tuesday at the European Championship.
LONDON (AP) — No goals from Harry Kane at Euro 2020. No plans for England coach Gareth Southgate to drop his star striker.
The captain has yet to even get a shot on target as England opened its European Championship campaign with a 1-0 win over Croatia and a 0-0 draw with Scotland.
LONDON (AP) — Not even with the Premier League’s top scorer could England find a way past Scotland.
Maybe Harry Kane was as much as the problem as the solution.
On his good days, Kane is one of the game’s ultimate goal threats for both Tottenham and England.
LONDON (AP) — Ben White was called into England’s squad for the European Championship on Monday to replace the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold, reflecting ongoing uncertainty over the fitness of Harry Maguire.
LONDON (AP) — England defender Trent Alexander-Arnold was ruled out of the European Championship on Thursday with a left thigh injury sustained during a warmup match.
The Liverpool right back hobbled off just before the end of a 1-0 win over Austria on Wednesday.
The international returns of France striker Karim Benzema, England defender Trent Alexander-Arnold and Germany players Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller didn’t go according to plan on Wednesday.
Benzema, back in France’s team after a 5½-year absence, had a penalty saved and also hit the post in a 3-0 win over Wales in a warmup match ahead of the European Championship.
MIDDLESBROUGH, England (AP) — Trent Alexander-Arnold gave England an injury scare barely a week before the European Championship by hobbling off with a suspected left thigh injury in a warmup match on Wednesday.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was one of four specialist right backs selected in England's final 26-man squad for the European Championship on Tuesday, while Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson were included despite ongoing fitness concerns which make them doubtful for group-stage matches.
A squad bristling with young and exciting talent. Home advantage through the final. A strong recent tournament record.
England has much going in its favor heading into the European Championship, putting one of the world’s underachieving soccer teams among the favorites.