Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughBrazil 2014: Same old story, different ending - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Brazil 2014: Same old story, different ending - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Brazil 2014: Same old story, different ending

This summer saw England head to Euro 2012 carrying the hopes of a nation that expected little from their team.

The Three Lions’ have long been undone by the pressure generated in the build-up to major tournaments, despite often having a squad that has quite rightly been predicted to do well.  The high expectations of fans from the home of football have often proved too much, with England often failing to get out of first gear in their group before proceeding to crash out in the early knockout stages.

Fans have become used to seeing England’s progress stall.  Apart from the disaster preceding Euro 2008, the team have shown real promise in some impressive qualifying campaigns.  However, leading up to the tournament in Poland and Ukraine this summer, many pundits had written off Roy Hodgson’s side’s chances of winning the competition.  Similarly to other years, England had qualified quite comfortably, but the lingering disappointment of 2010 in South Africa capped off a decade of heartbreak.  This had seemed to stop people believing, and it was only when the side’s resilience during the tournament saw them finish top of the group that the optimism of past years slowly crept back.

The quarter final between England and Italy was interesting due to the fact that it was the only one between two teams who were unbeaten in the tournament thus far.  The steeliness of both sides was exemplified in a 0-0 draw after 120 minutes, which guaranteed that whoever went out on penalties would have gone through the competition without losing a game in normal play.  Unfortunately for Roy Hodgson and his side it was them who would be going home, yet the normal procedure of pointing blame in their direction was not so apparent.  England had given all that they had and fans understood that; a rare occasion of players and supporters seeing things from the same point of view.  What’s more, a Mario Balotelli-inspired Italy would go on to stop Germany in their tracks in the semi-final and end Joachim Low’s side’s 100% winning record, before eventually losing to a dominant Spain team in the final.

If Euro 2012 was a transition, what can we expect from the Three Lions in their next major tournament?  Hopefully that will be the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which Roy Hodgson recently declared England have a good chance of winning.

We may have heard it all before but, if the team’s performances can once again make their country proud, the end result may not be too far away.