England have qualified for the World Cup. That’s right people. After the nation wallowed in misery following Steve McClaren’s inability to get the team to Euro 2008, the Italian maestro that is Fabio Capello has whipped the opposition in group play and is ready to march the Queen’s men to South Africa with a potential perfect winning record!
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming, the World Cup’s coming home! Or is it?
It’s quite incredible to think how Capello has instilled confidence and belief in an England team that was in tatters when he took over. And who said Lampard and Gerrard couldn’t play together? Capello has them firing on all cylinders as they both scored a brace to help England thump Croatia 5-1. Lampard in particular was exceptionally impressive in this game. Under Capello’s guidance, Lampard is even winning over the England fans again with his passionate play and willingness to step up and take penalties for the team. These two players could be a major key to England’s success next summer.
Whenever England qualify for the World Cup, the nation’s expectations raise to all kinds of ridiculous levels. However, as an England fan myself, this time it feels different. This time there is a genuine believable air about the team. This time you can actually feel real confidence. This time you know the team is in good hands with Capello. This time, it really appears as though England have a superb chance at winning the World Cup. This time, even if it comes down to penalties, the England team we’ve been watching over the last year might just do a little better than what we have experienced in the past. Is this England’s time?
England have the players that can cause problems. Aaron Lennon is having his best season yet and he definitely has the ability to wreak some serious havoc with his pace. As long as he keeps his crosses in check, he’ll be okay! I would play him miles before Shaun Wright Phillips in that role. Gareth Barry has fast become Mr.Reliable in midfield and England won’t want to be without him when they catch the plane to South Africa. Together with players like Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney and Cole, they have the potential to heap some serious damage and chaos on opposing teams. These players that under achieved with McClaren are now playing their hearts out for England as they do for their clubs. Capello always believed that if you are in form for your club team, that can transcend just as easily to the national team. The Italian has found a way to do that.
If you were manager, who would be in your starting XI for England? What do you think of England’s chances? Do they have what it takes to win the big one?