Pure elation spread across the country Tuesday night as England beat a strong Polish team 2-0 to ensure qualification for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. A very tense game with goals from Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard calmed nerves and worries that we may not qualify. Now tension has gone, the road start for the side to try and emulate the legendary sides of 1966 and 1990 to reach the latter stages of the competition.
It was announced earlier today that England will play friendlies against Germany and Chile in mid-November. Playing former World Champions and big rivals Germany and a strong Chile side will give a good understanding where England are at this stage and will show the kind of teams we would expect to face in the World Cup.
The draw for the groups will take place in December and unseeded England will be hoping to get a good group. That means avoiding seeded side like Spain, Germany and Argentina.
England strong attacking display in their two final qualifying games was something to praise yet they seemed very vulnerable on the counter attack. Despite Leighton Baines being by far one of the best players on the pitch on Tuesday, the England defence really needs to sharpen up with the centre defensive positions clearly being the weakest.
England did show some real promise in the final two games but Montenegro and Poland are no opposition compared to the likes of Spain, Germany and Argentina. There is a reason why we are 10th in the world, we have not been able to develop our game like Spain and Germany have managed to master. Despite the leading figures in the squad of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, England side is very young with many player under 25. This could be seen as a positive for the future seeing as most of them will be playing for many years to come but it might not be very good for this World Cup.
Despite this, we have showed lots of promise and we will be going into the competition not expecting to win but maybe to upset those above us in the world rankings. Like Euro 2012 the side has very low expectations for the World Cup and this could pay dividends for Roy Hodgson’s side.
The countdown to the World Cup begins along with England’s preparation.