3 reasons why England fans should not get their hopes up this summer

The England national team has a chequered history in major tournaments like no other. If, like myself, you are someone in their twenties, or perhaps older, you will have fond memories of the England team in terrible kits and a genuine heart breaking pain at their completely unexpected departure from whatever tournament it was.

However, today the heart break remains but the surprise of elimination less so. As England has recently attained automatic qualification, post defeat of Poland it has prompted Roy Hodgson to reportedly ‘play down’ the nation’s chances in the South American tournament thus prompting this piece; three reasons why England fans should not get their hopes up just yet.

Firstly let us not forget England’s Achilles Heel, the dramatic and quite frankly below par knock out penalty shoot out. Many teary-eyed fallen heroes spring to mind immediately. It would be quite frankly strange if England didn’t build an exciting fervour in Brazil only to display a dire penalty shootout display, with contemporary players to join the ranks of competition heart breakers such as Stuart Pearce, Gareth Southgate and David Batty to name but few. If our boys in white and red do make it (fingers crossed) out of the group stages then, as history dictates, they are doomed to a dramatic yet disappointing exit.

Remaining on this historical path, we also see the second reason for a continued limited success of the Three Lions next summer, and that is a distinct lack of key seasoned players. This author grew up where a squad was built around exquisite national icons such as Beckham, Scholes, Shearer and Owen.

However, today we see the gaffer relying on older players such as Gerrard and Lampard to play a central role when Brazil will very likely be their last international venture. The distinct lack of permanence and leadership within the squad means there is a constant rotation of inexperienced players and few stalwarts they can draw inspiration from.

The third reason why England fans must not get over excited once more is that no European team has ever won a World Cup in South America, unsurprising when looking at teams such as Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Brazil, well known as the record holders are heavy favourites for a final position looking for a further record breaking sixth trophy. Those older than myself will remember previous English excursions there, specifically Mexico ’86 and the infamous hand of God incident.

It should be noted that this author fully supports the national team, but the above are three reasons why this world cup and successive ones in Russia and Qatar should be viewed as a continual building process where lessons can be learned from our great history!

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