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Expectation That Will Always End In Failure
TheKeeper (Chelsea) 2 years ago
We've been hearing talk of miracles? Where'd you read that? Maybe I don't get that because I live in America
Footytubeblog (Blog) 2 years ago
If a good, solid reminder of England’s past failings in international competition didn’t bring Steven Gerrard back down to earth, the 1-1 draw with Ukraine at Wembley certainly did. All the match at Wembley did was remind England not to get carried away with small victories; the victories that mean nothing in the grander scheme of things.

Steven Gerrard might have thought he was leading his England side with a sense of pride, confidence and ambition, but the reality of it was a great deal of pressure heaped upon a team who never fare well with that sort of expectation.

And what do England really have in their armoury to combat the might of other nations?
Tom Cleverley‘s game, once of Wigan, compared to the role of Cesc Fabregas—a product of one of the best youth academies in the world; a player who reaped the benefits of a foundation laid by Johan Cruyff—is beyond laughable. And that’s what England’s problem is: trying to create an illusion out of nothing.

I get it, Cleverley is a bit new and a bit shiny, but he’s 23. Fabregas was running the Arsenal midfield as a teenager. In fact, such was his command of the midfield in the Premier League that during an away trip to Blackburn in 2007 where Gilberto Silva was red-carded, Arsene Wenger opted to leave an 18-year old Cesc as the only central midfielder for Arsenal. He went on to assist Thierry Henry in that wonderful near-solo goal. Remind me, when has Tom Cleverley done that?

Who was it that compared Cleverley to Fabregas? Roy Hodgson? That man should know better. I suppose Glen Johnson is the new Dani Alves, too. I patiently await him to rifle a volley from some kind of thunder god past Iker Casillas.

The point is, England need to stop getting so excited over nothing. They hammered Moldova the other day, but were we supposed to be impressed by that? Didn’t one of their players represent a second division Israeli side? These are Premier League footballers breaking out the champagne after a comfortable win over a team who really had no chance. And then comes the obligatory “we can win the World Cup” talk. No consideration for Spain, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Germany and whoever else that is actually better than England. Using that thing about miracles and unpredictability is a fair shout, but it still doesn’t hold water, not when England really have never looked that great in international competition.

Liverpool came back from 3-0 down to draw with Milan and eventually beat them because they showed some nerve and attacking threat. They genuinely did make life uncomfortable for the Italians. In Poland and Ukraine, England’s tie with Italy was described as one of the most one-sided 0-0 draws.

England noticeably came undone against Ukraine, where the percentage of possession was not as great as they had hoped, and the trickery of the opposition’s attackers really caused some problems. Someone really should remind England’s captain that the World Cup isn’t littered with pub teams to accommodate those who aren’t that great.

England may shock the world and perform exceptionally well in Brazil—I’m not saying it can’t happen. The manager is overseeing a good group of young talent emerging as the carriers of a nation’s hopes. But early talk of victory in 2014 is really not needed. Bring up the talk of miracles after the competition is done, not two-years prior and after beating a team who have no hope of qualification.

Written By Thomas Hallett

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