There are reasons to be positive about England’s chances at the World Cup but there is also plenty of cause for concern. We take a look at five reasons why England will win the World Cup and five more why they won’t.
Five Reasons England Will Win the World Cup
Wayne Rooney – He has held the hopes and dreams of England fans since he burst onto the scene as a 16 year old but is yet to deliver on the biggest international stage. If Rooney is at his best in Brazil then he could make the difference and deliver England to the promised land.
The Youngsters – The Golden Generation consistently failed to deliver so now it is the turn of a new collection of players to show what they can do. The likes of Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have enjoyed fantastic seasons in the Premier League and, if they can take that kind of form to Brazil, they could inspire England to greater things.
Steven Gerrard – England’s captain has inspired Liverpool to their best league campaign for over two decades and they are now on the verge of claiming their first title since 1990. If he can provide the same kind of inspiration to the England team, and if his Liverpool teammates can perform to the same standard, then there is every chance that he will have a similar impact on the national team.
It’s About Time – We’re now up to 48 years of hurt so a trophy is long overdue for the Three Lions. The law of averages says that it has got to happen some time soon and, as far as the England fans are concerned, there is no time like the present.
No Expectations – Usually England go into a big tournament with the heavy weight of expectation on the players’ shoulders. However, after the tough draw, excitement about England’s chances has died down a little and that could allow the players the freedom to play as well as we know they can.
Five Reasons Why England Won’t Win the World Cup
Wayne Rooney – He has the potential to do something special but, if he’s not at his best, England could suffer from having to carry Rooney. His World Cup record has not been great and Alex Ferguson suggested in his autobiography that he needs time to get back to his best when he hasn’t played for a while – meaning his tournament could be over before we see the real Rooney.
Group of Death – The draw for the group stage probably couldn’t have gone any worse for England as they were picked to play against Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica. It means that there will be at least one highly rated team going home early and, the way things stand, England look to be the most likely candidates for that early flight home.
Take Your Pick – Even if England do make it out of their group they will have to battle past a number of quality teams to make it to to the final. Unfortunately for Roy Hodgson and co, this tournament seems to be blessed with several impressive sides such as Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain and it looks like England will have to beat at least two of those sides if they want to lift the World Cup.
Penalties – When England get to the knockout stages in a major tournament it invariably goes to penalties at some point and they almost always lose. It happened against Italy in Euro 2012, Portugal in both the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2004, Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, and Germany in both the 1990 World Cup and Euro 1996. In fact, England’s latest defeat on penalties means that they now have officially the worst record on penalties for teams that have been involved in three or more shootouts.
History – No European side has ever won a World Cup in South America and England have only gone further than the quarter finals on one occasion when they didn’t host the tournament. Do they have the ability to change either of those statistics? It doesn’t seem so.