On the sixth of December 2013, millions of people around the world sat with their friends and family around televisions, anxiously awaiting the results of the groups for the 2014 FIFA World Cu
On the sixth of December 2013, millions of people around the world sat with their friends and family around televisions, anxiously awaiting the results of the groups for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
From the point of England as a nation and a football club, when all was said and done, while it wasn’t the worst possible result by any stretch of the imagination, it was nowhere near the best, and some people, including the manager of England Roy Hodgson, said that the side faces an uphill battle to get to the finals of the prestigious tournament. In a recent interview, he stated that ‘it’s not the group we would have picked…it’s very tough.’
He has every right to make a statement like this. After all, Italy has won the World Cup a total of four times, the most recent being in 2006. They are considered to be one of the best national teams in history, and boast powerhouse players such as Mario Balotelli, Pablo Osvaldo and Alberto Gilardino in the main squad.
While they are probably the biggest threat to worry about, another strong contender is Uruguay, who have won the World Cup twice, won the Copa America a record 15 times and feature the talents of players such as Luis Suarez on their main side, who has played brilliantly for Liverpool this past year. With all these points in mind, the big question is how far England can possibly go in the next World Cup?
When looking at the bigger picture, England did remarkably well in their qualifying campaign, only conceding two goals in total, and finishing top of their group overall to successfully qualify. However, ever since then the side haven’t done as well. The England team seem to thrive under pressure, giving it 110 percent when it is needed most.
Even though this always doesn’t work in their favour, it’s marvellous to see them play with this added fire. With that in mind, when it came to the International friendlies, England appeared to be too relaxed, and as a result lost to both Germany AND Chile. Roy Hodgson will have to ensure that his team is as strong as possible, and the next few friendlies before the trip to Brazil will be vital in creating a formation that is both offensive AND defensive.
I believe that England can safely reach the finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But, and this is a very big BUT, they will first have to jump the hurdle of the toughest opponent in their group, Italy, in the blistering heat of the jungle.
If they can somehow scrape through this with a satisfactory result, they’ll have a ton of confidence going into the other games, against Uruguay and then Costa Rica respectively.
So, in conclusion I believe that England can indeed go far in the World Cup next year. However, it will be extremely tough, and the squad will have to pull something extremely special out of the hat if they have any chance of winning the title.
No matter what happens, we can say for sure that the entirety of England will be cheering the Three Lions on all the way.
Image: Wilf d’Lampy / Flickr