England To Win The World Cup?

England is going to win the World Cup. That’s a contentious statement, for an Englishman living in the USA, with whom our first game will be fought out. However, I firmly believe we have as good a chance since 1966 of holding aloft that esteemed 18 carat gold beauty.

Let’s start with our manager – Mr. Capello – who holds the distinction of winning the domestic league title with every club he has coached throughout his career. Overall, he has won a major league championship in seven of his 16 seasons as a manager, and he is one of the few coaches to claim championship victories in four major European cities: Milan, Madrid, Rome, and Turin. And unlike his slack predecessors, his reputation as a disciplinarian has worked wonders of ridding England of that dreadful and embarrassing “Footballers Wives” era.  And our £6 million (US$10m) a year chief has started impressively with 8 wins out of 9 for World Cup qualifying, scoring a European high of 34 goals in the process.

With this compelling force from the top, the star-studded squad – who are considered an English “golden generation” – have a point to prove after failing to reach the last UEFA EURO tournament, held in Austria and Switzerland two years ago. With brand names such as Rooney, Terry, Gerrard, Walcott, Lampard, Cole, Ferdinand and Carrick, we hit hard on paper at least. Preparation is well underway with seven of South Africa’s World Cup venues at altitude, the Italian has already put them through extensive training at London’s Altitude Centre, as well as taking advice from other teams that have recently toured South Africa, including England’s cricketers and the British and Irish Lions.

England could also be considered fortunate with our grouping; after being one of the eight seeded teams, we will avoid the favourites Spain and Brazil, at least in the group games. Pitted against the likes of Algeria, Slovenia and USA in Group C, qualification to the next round seems very possible – and l’m hoping my opening statement holds true.

2 Comments

  1. Posted June 14, 2010 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    James. I like your optimism. As you know, the World Cup is unlike any other competition for producing surprises. As of today (14 June ’10) there have been a few. S.Africa scores first goal of tournament v. Mexico. Korea’s slam of Greece. And did you see that disaster handball by Ghezzal, leaving Algeria down a man and putting Slovenia at the top of ‘our group’.

    It will truly be an interesting World Cup. Don’t be surprised if the USA puts in a great performance again this year.

  2. James Priest James Priest
    Posted June 14, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your comments Marc. I agree, I thought the US put in a good performance on Saturday – this combined with England’s very poor performance left me (and the rest of England) feeling very deflated. I’m unsure why Capello played Robert Green in goal – he spends his life in goal for lowly Premier League side West Ham, and I read yesterday that according to Opta statistics, Green made more errors leading to goals than any other player in the Premier League last season. Who needs enemies!

    I watched Germany dismantle Australia yesterday, playing with a world class fluidity only seen at the very highest level. Germany haven’t even been mentioned in the hype, with Spain, Brazil, Argentina and England tipped for the top four spots respectively – we need to raise our game if we’ve any chance of progressing, never mind winning the thing.

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