It's the question that gets asked every time England reach the World Cup Finals… “Can England Win The World Cup?” Now, I don't want to get carried away, but I think England have a great chance of winning the World Cup in South Africa. My prediction is based on science, pure hope and the demise of the worlds top football teams!
Lets look at a few important factors that have stopped good English teams in the past from winning the World Cup.
Firstly, over the years England managers just couldn't get the team to perform on the world stage, under Fabio Capello England finally seem to have a manager with a tactical brain and someone who can motivate the players. The WAGS are gone, pride is back and so is the self belief which was sadly lacking under Sven and Steve McClaren.
Secondly, the weather at World Cup Finals is always working against our boys! The last World Cup in Germany had record high temperatures for Europe during the competition, previous to that we had the heat and humidity of Japan, Italia '90 was another scorcher and then the heat and altitude of Mexico in '86. Our pasty faced lads just can't play in that, much of the English game is based on fitness, pace and tempo, and you can't keep up the tempo in that heat! It suits the teams who like to play a slower pace of football, like the South Americans, Spaniards and Italians. So you're probably thinking that Africa in June & July is going to be even hotter than Mexico… Wrong! June & July in South Africa is actually the middle of winter. Temperatures will be low, more like a spring day in London than a raging African heatwave, that's going to suit us.
Thirdly, where did all the great teams go? The current German team isn't fit to lace the boots of past German sides. Brazil were beaten by Paraguay and Bolivia in the qualifying stages, the current squad is aging rapidly, and apart from Kaka they look like the weakest Brazil side in decades. France had to cheat their way to the finals after a dreadful qualifying campaign. Italy couldn't beat Ireland home or away in the qualifying stages and were nearly embarrassed by Cyprus in their last home game when they came back from two goals down. The other South American giants Argentina suffered defeats by Paraguay, Ecuador, Bolivia (6-1), Chile, Colombia and drew 1-1 with Peru. I don't even know how you qualify losing that many games! With four of the world great sides suffering a lack of form, the odds on England getting to the final are shortened.
And Finally… England are the ‘second' home team in South Africa! There are hundreds of thousands of South Africans with English ancestry, not to mention the massive ex-pat community, add in the traveling Barmy Army and that's gonna make all England's games feel like home matches. If we get a lucky draw in the groups this Friday, then I don't see why we couldn't go all the way.
It seems the bookmakers also think England have a great chance, Paddy Power Bookmakers have England @ 6/1 just behind Brazil @ 5/1 and the odds on Spain winning are 9/2. Paddy Power are currently giving away a bonus bet deal worth £20, so now's a good time to get behind the lads!
Thirty years of hurt, never stopped me dreaming!
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