Despite mixed emotions, Roy Hodgson‘s England should know exactly where they stand going into the 2014 World Cup next summer.
With back-to-back defeats at Wembley, it was a poor end to a year for England where they met their goal of qualifying for the World Cup. Following the loss to Germany, it seems that many pundits and fans are unsure on whether England are dreadful or if they have an outside shot at glory.
I think it is pretty clear really where England stand: they’re average. They’ve shown the ability to take the game to some very decent teams and that they have players capable of performing at a high level. But, they don’t have anything near the quality of the nations who will go to Brazil as favorites.
No European team has ever won a World Cup outside of Europe. England, however, need not worry about that just yet. They are a quarterfinal team. England are in a position where they have many younger faces beginning their international careers in the first team, while some of the older players will be looking at their last opportunity in a major tournament.
I don’t quite understand the hyperbolic statements that many seem to state, though. England are not woeful and they are not hopeless. They are in a group of teams going to Brazil who are in the middle in terms of quality. They have players and experience to find results on their day with a bit of luck against every nation in the world. But, to do it consistently with all the variables that arise in a World Cup seems a step to far.
It is really quite simple for England: they should go to Brazil with a firm concentration on reaching the knockout stages, and then seeing what happens next. 2014 is not the priority in English football as grassroots and coaching is the current focus. They should only have hope of a bit of luck while playing their best to get reasonably far. I feel like England won’t feel the same disappointment as in tournaments of the past 20 years.