England have perennially been a favorite in every major tournament, but they continue to disappoint their fans. Barring the 1966 World Cup, they have not been able to win any major tournament in football. In fact, one would be hard pressed to remember the last time they went beyond the quarterfinals of a major tournament. But all that would not matter as every new tournament brings new hopes for the fans and the media, hoping that this would be the year when they finally break their failure streak.
FIFA World Cup Team Analysis England
Though England have remained unbeaten in their Qualification group, it was anything but a spectacular performance from them. They labored to finish at the top of the group, and it was a bit heart-to-mouth stuff towards the end of the campaign. However, they managed to do what was required of them, and this is exactly the reason why one cannot place too many hopes on England finishing as champions. While they seem to have all the talent in the world, they have never really been able to get together as a team to perform on the big stage.
Perhaps the biggest surprise that manager Roy Hodgson sprung on the fans was he chose to drop Ashley Cole from the 23-man squad. Cole is perhaps the best Right Back England has ever seen but he’s aging and is no longer as quick as he used to be. Instead, Hodgson went with Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw on the left hand side, and both of them are able successors to Cole. However, it will be interesting to see if Cole’s experience will be missed in the tournament. Another big name to be dropped from the squad was Manchester United’s Michael Carrick. His wretched season with the club surely played against him, and this summer he will have to cool his heels at home.
England have been drawn in the group of death, and it will take all their skills to make it to the knockout rounds. They have Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica in their group, and while Costa Rica is an easy 3 points, the same cannot be said about the other 2 opponents. England would have to be up for the challenge right from the start, and it will perhaps be good for their confidence if they can qualify from such a tough group as it will give them the belief that they can go all the way.
World Cup chances
Traditionally, England always manages to find a way to get knocked out of the tournament during the quarterfinals, and inevitably after a penalty shootout. And if you are feeling especially lucky, one might even say that they will get knocked out by Argentina! While it would be tempting to say that based on individual player forms, England can go a long way, the reality is that they are perhaps not yet ready to become world champions and need a lot of work to be done.