X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

Soccer World Cup

2014 World Cup: 5 Weakest Links For England

2014 World Cup: England's 5 Weakest Links

England manager Roy Hodgson
Getty Images

For the first time in a long, long time, England will travel to the World Cup this year without the size of expectations that have been so overbearing in the past. With a younger squad this time around, expectation has turned to hope more than anything else. It's a team and a squad which is still in the process of being rebuilt, and more lessons will be learned again in Brazil. Here are five weak links for England as they head into the World Cup.

5. Right-Back

England right-back Glen Johnson
Getty Images

5. Right-Back

England right-back Glen Johnson
Getty Images

Right-back is a position which should be full of options for England, with Glen Johnson, Kyle Walker and Micah Richards all in the mix -- in truth, it's quite the opposite. Walker has leveled out at this point, Richards can't get fit or get a game at Manchester City when he is and Johnson is the last one standing. Johnson can be a threat offensively, but he can be a major liability defensively also. A center-back, Chris Smalling, is the backup.

4. Lack of Winning Experience at International Level

England players disappointed after conceding a goal
Getty Images

4. Lack of Winning Experience at International Level

England players disappointed after conceding a goal
Getty Images

England have only ever won one World Cup, back in 1966, so quite clearly, these players have no experience of winning at this level. England have never won an alternate international tournament outside of the World Cup either. So whenever England do win an international tournament again, the players will have to break completely new ground to do so. Until then, more than likely the pressure grows with each tournament that passes.

3. Questionable Depth At Striker

Rickie Lambert and Danny Welbeck celebrate and England goal
Getty Images

3. Questionable Depth At Striker

Rickie Lambert and Danny Welbeck celebrate and England goal
Getty Images

Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge should, in theory, be a really dangerous pair of strikers for England. If things do not go to plan, though, or injuries or suspensions come into play, then the backup options are not as convincing. Danny Welbeck is a good player, but goalscoring is certainly not his forte, and he has been played out wide a lot over the last few years. And Rickie Lambert is totally untested and unproven at this level.

2. A Pressurized Wayne Rooney

England Striker Wayne Rooney
Getty Images

2. A Pressurized Wayne Rooney

England Striker Wayne Rooney
Getty Images

Seeing as England have not won a trophy of any description since 1966, the pressure grows with every tournament that passes. It doesn't just collectively grow on the team, though; it grows squarely on the shoulders of the star player. As such, there is far too much pressure put directly on Wayne Rooney, as people almost expect him to carry the team. That is probably one reason why he has never scored a goal at a World Cup.

1. Center-Backs

England center-backs Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill
Getty Images

1. Center-Backs

England center-backs Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill
Getty Images

Not so long ago, John Terry and Rio Ferdinand were two of the best center-backs in the world. Now, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka are both trying to fill their England boots -- it's a big transition to make. Cahill has looked good for Chelsea, but that was playing alongside Terry, of course, and Jagielka has never been tested at the highest level. It's a pairing with questions to answer, and England need to see the right answers come June.