Do England stand a chance in Brazil next year?

The Confederations Cup serves two purposes: 1. to fill Sepp Blatter’s pockets and 2. a dress rehearsal for hosts Brazil ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Apart from the obvious social unrest everything looks good; the stadia is glorious, the weather is tropical, there is lots of support and Brazil are looking pretty decent, bar that dodgy back four, thanks to a chap called Neymar.

I would say that it is pretty likely that we are going to be getting a World Cup final preview when Spain and Italy square off in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday.

In fact, as I watched Spain and Italy battle it out in a gruesome semi-final where both teams looked shattered after a long season, I asked myself do England have kind of chance at next year’s tournament?

To put it bluntly; no. 

Last night’s semi-final was tiring to watch. Both teams faded significantly in the south American heat and having watched England struggle to keep up with Andrea Pirlo in Warsaw at last year’s European Championships I do wonder how much of an impact the climate will have next June. Spain and Brazil are used to the conditions whereas England would most likely prefer lots of downpour in order to feel a sense of familiarity when playing football.

On the evidence of the Confederations Cup, too, it appears England are quite a way back too from a footballing point of view. Spain and Brazil have to be considered the two favourites and in terms of technique, fitness and squad depth they are head and shoulders above anybody in the world.

So, all to do then for Roy Hodgson and despite the glass half empty tone of this post I will definitely get caught up in the sense of hope and optimism that comes round every time there is a major international tournament.