Saturday, February 22, 2020

Can England win the World Cup?

Graham Fisher in Editorial, World Cup 13 Aug 2009

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The England team played in Holland last night in a friendly arranged at just about the worst possible time for club managers around Europe. With the Premier League due to kick off on Saturday, an international friendly on the Wednesday is just what the clubs could do without.

Unusual

However, with the World Cup in South Africa is less than a year away, England are enjoying the unusual position of sitting comfortably on top of their qualifying group and the more usual, if inexplicable, optimism in the country has been steadily growing.

There is a belief in England that the team, if they survive another gruelling Premier League season, have a real chance of success. Of course, that belief has been there for almost every tournament since 1966 and hasn’t yet been shown to be justified.

So, is the belief this time around really justified?

Well, a pretty good 2-2 draw in Holland last night certainly hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm.

In goal, however, there is a real problem. David James is probably still the best English goalkeeper and as an Englishman, that is a really, really scary statement. Ben Foster is good but can’t play more than two games without getting injured and Joe Hart, Robert Green, Paul Robinson and the others are decent keepers but not good enough to be World Cup winners. Green looked hesitant again last night.

Sure

At the back, John Terry and Rio Ferdinand are world class defenders. If we lose either of them, are we so sure about the likes of Matthew Upson and Joleon Lescott? I maintain that Rio is world class despite his casualness in giving Holland the lead.

Glen Johnson should be OK at right back if he gets a full and successful season at Liverpool and we can only hope that Ashley Cole gets back to his form of a few years ago. Once again, the replacement names that get mentioned if either or both of these players are injured do not inspire confidence. Wayne Bridge, Wes Brown?

Concern

The lack of strength in depth in goal and at the back is surely a major concern. James, Johnson, Terry, Ferdinand and Cole all fit and all playing at their best might just about be good enough, but any loss of form or injury and we would surely be in trouble.

In midfield England have Steve Gerrard and Frank Lampard. Both regarded as world class players and both with great experience. Gerrard is twenty-nine and has seventy-four caps. Lampard is thirty-one and has seventy-two caps. They have both played in World Cups and European Championships. If they were going to win something for England wouldn’t they have done so by now?

Important

It could just be that thirty-four year old David Beckham will be regarded as an important player for us. Need I say more?

Up front lies perhaps the biggest problem. The strikers in the squad for the game in Holland were Carlton Cole, Emile Heskey, Jermaine Defoe and Wayne Rooney.

Rooney, yes, the others? Carlton Cole did well when he came on and Defoe got two last night and the first one was truly special. I’m still not sure they are good enough though. We could always rely on the perpetually injured thirty year old Michael Owen I suppose.

Ridicule

I am not trying to ridicule the England team which is full of decent players and I am well aware that I haven’t mentioned the likes of Ashley Young, James Milner, Gareth Barry, Gabby Agbonlahor, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and others who may yet feature, but I am just trying to keep things in perspective.

There is no doubt that Fabio Capello is a great manager and a fully fit and on form England team with their best eleven players should be good enough to make at least the quarter-finals in South Africa.

I’m just not sure they are good enough to go any further. What do you think?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Graham Fisher


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BradGooner-11André AssisChelsea FC FanThe Soccer Snob Recent comment authors
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baka
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baka

no

The Soccer Snob
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The Soccer Snob

I liked it better when they didn’t qualify for major tournaments lol but I have to admit, under Don Fabio, England are a transformed team. They needed a true tactition like the Italian, because before, Englands only game plan was long balls and run. I hate to admit it, but they have to be considered a favorite on current form.

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Chelsea FC Fan

Baka – you’re hilarious….haha

André Assis
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Yes, England can win? Even after this defeat to the Netherlands? Sure – England is losing when it’s allowed to lose, before the World Cup. The Netherlands and Brazil are doing the contrary – and history teaches that those teams will lose when the matches are official. For me, the favourites are England, Italy and Argentina – for the same reasons. I would like, also, to invite you to visit the Museu do Futebol (Brazilian Football Museum), located at the Pacaembu Stadium, in São Paulo. I know you have a football museum in Preston, and it’s a place I want… Read more »

Gooner-11
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Gooner-11

um, Netherlands did not defeat England.

Brad
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Graham off his rocker say wha—? England wont win the WC. They didnt even qualify for the UEFA Euro 08, and just cuz they are qualified for the WC doesnt mean much. How many times has England slipped up since ’50 in Brazil? In fact, back in 50, they were swamped by a bunch of amateurs from the U.S. Yeah that was over 50 years ago, but England hasent changed much. Their BEST WC was in their home country, and that was the only time they have even been to the final itself. And of course, it is good to… Read more »

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