Considered something of a team of underachievers, the English have enjoyed an emphatic qualifying campaign under the stewardship of new Italian coach Fabio Capello. Nine victories from 10 games saw the Three Lions roar to top spot and secure qualification with two matches to spare. However, this followed a failure to qualify for Euro 2008 and despair at the World Cup in 2006. Arrival of new Fabio Capello has certainly seen some major changes, mostly in the way the players perform as a team and the level of commitment they offer in matches.
Online PR News – 08-February-2010 – – England have won the World Cup on one occasion in 1966 and have enjoyed little in the way of international success since then. While the latest generation of English players are considered world class players for their clubs with a first team that can boast some of the biggest names in world club football, they are seemingly lacking in depth and have only recently found the dogged determination and discipline, instilled by Capello, that is needed to help lift the World Cup trophy.
Having failed to quality for Euro 2008, England turned to Italian coach Fabio Capello; a move that has so far paid dividends by securing qualification in style. Nine wins from ten matches saw them score 34 goals, the highest in European qualification groups. They qualified with two games to spare and lost their only match of the campaign against the Ukraine having already secured qualification. Confidence is now at an all time high and players like Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, and Steven Gerrard seem to be thriving under the new management but there still remains the question of whether the 9th ranked team can carry this form into the main tournament.
World Cup History
Despite being considered among the favourites, certainly among home fans, for many of the previous tournaments, England's recent history in the World Cup is not exactly a glowing one. Having first entered the tournament in 1950 their only triumph came in 1966 on home soil. Their best result away from England came in 1990 when they made it to the last four. This is England's 12th appearance in the World Cup finals and they will certainly be hoping that it will lead to their second occasion lifting the trophy.
Before being appointed England's national team coach, Fabio Capello had enjoyed a long and glory filled club management career. He has won La Liga twice with Real Madrid, and won Serie A with three different teams AC Milan, Juventus, and AS Roma. He is renowned for his no nonsense attitude and for demanding discipline and work ethic from all of his players. He is also not afraid of dropping star players if they fail to perform on the pitch and even welcome them back into the fold if they prove themselves once again. The players have seemingly responded very well to this approach describing him as a strict father figure.
The so called golden generation of English footballers has been around some time but never quite managed the level of international success fans expect. However, Wayne Rooney scored nine goals in nine games during qualifying while midfielders Steve Gerrard and Frank Lampard of Liverpool and Chelsea totalled 7 goals between them. A question over who should partner Rooney up front does remain with Peter Crouch scoring four goals in four appearances and Jermain Defoe managing an impressive three goals in just over two hours of football. John Terry and Rio Ferdinand make up a formidable defensive partnership too although further question marks have been raised over the seeming lack of a first choice world class goalkeeper.
As well as England, Group C is made up of 14th ranked USA as well as Algeria and Slovenia ranked 26th and 33rd respectively. On paper, England should achieve group qualification with comparative ease assuming that Wayne Rooney can continue his incredible goal scoring record and that the team continue to perform so well under coach Fabio Capello. The USA look the most likely threat to the Three Lions. Slovenia did progress to only their 2nd World Cup finals thanks to a play off win over fancied Russia so there may be a surprise on the cards, no matter how unlikely it is.
Group Matches And Analysis
The 12th June sees England facing the USA before they go on to play Algeria on the 18th and Slovenia on the 23rd. The more challenging of these matches will almost certainly be against the USA who have enjoyed greater success in recent years on the football pitch and where England's free kick master David Beckham currently plies his trade with LA Galaxy, although he has also played several months in Italy to improve match fitness ready for the World Cup.
More info on World Cup Teams here.