The Newsroom reviews each team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Team: England.
Known for being a constant disappointment over the past decade on the world stage, England will have their work cut out for them at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, after being drawn in the “group of death” with the likes of Uruguay and Italy. England finished first in their qualification group pipping Ukraine by a single point. This will be England’s 14th World Cup.
FIFA World Ranking: 11th
Strengths: As you would expect, England have pedigree all over the park, but what makes England more of a threat is the form of individuals, in fact the majority of the squad had terrific seasons in their respected leagues and will be looking to emulate this form for England.
Weaknesses: England typically fall down in two areas. Egotistically is one: many of the individuals in the squad are top players at club level thus bringing an attitude of arrogance and individuality to the team environment. This stems to the second problem and that is the partnership up front, all candidates want to be the hero and fail to work together resulting in England scoring less than they should.
Key Players: After a stellar season at Liverpool, Steven Gerrard will direct play from the middle and will be hungry for silverware after shortcomings at club level. Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge are in charge of scoring for England, after polar opposite seasons, the pair must impress in Brazil.
Manager: Experienced Englishmen Roy Hodgson has taken charge of the Three Lions in what will be his first World Cup. Italian predecessor Fabio Capello attempted to instill a defensive approach, earning disapproval from the fans and ultimately leading to his demise. Hodgson’s tactics are similar to the Italian and Brazil will tell whether the English faithful turn on one of their own.
Prediction: Semi Final. If you are to dissect England individually, you will see they are one of the in-form teams of the tournament and the underdog persona attached enhances the danger they will pose to any competition in Brazil. – Jake O’Brien