Sunday 15 November 2009

Brazil 1 England 0

After watching the rugby, I moved onto the football hoping for something a little more exciting. Losing 1 - 0 to Brazil is hardly a disaster. It wasn't our strongest team in comparison to Brazil, but if we learned anything it's that if we're going to win the World Cup we've got to hope that our best eleven are 100% fit as our backups aren't quite good enough to beat the very best!

I missed the last fifteen minutes as I had to go out but I think I saw enough to pass comment.

England did ok, without really creating too much. Brazil are rightly ranked number one in the Fifa World rankings , with Spain right behind them, and I think those two teams are setting the bench mark for international football at the moment. England shouldn't be too disheartened.

But it's obvious that to have a genuine chance of doing anything at the World Cup we can't afford to have our most influential players unavailable. This means Rooney up front, Gerrard and Lampard in midfield, Terry and Ferdinand in central defence.

We all have to hope that the curse of the metatarsal doesn't strike again before the tournament begins or another injury crisis emerges. It has to be expected that during the course of a tournament, players will get injured or suspended and some of our second string players will have to come in and step up.

Saturday's game was a great opportunity for some of these players to really stake a claim and to be honest not many of them did.

I think that Fabio Capello knows this and realised from day one when he took over, that England have just enough decent players to seriously challenge the world's best, but we don't have much in reserve.

I have a lot of faith in Capello and I'm confident that he is, and will get the best of the England squad.

In general England shouldn't be too fearful of anyone in International football. Yes there are some good teams about, but with good organisation and discipline England should be a match for anyone.

Anyone that is except Brazil and Spain. I would have included Argentina with them, as I still think they have some really great players to pick from, none more so than Lionel Messi, but Maradona is doing his best to demonstrate how not to manage a major international football team and this is holding them back!

When it comes to England I've said this before, I'm just waiting for the potential World Cup Quarter Final Game. Anything less than that will be failure. The Quarter Final game is a minimum requirement and it's the game that matters. Win that one and we have a realistic chance of getting to the final and winning the World Cup.

It doesn't really matter to much to me what happens at the moment. No friendly game can re-create the tension and pressure of a knock out World Cup match. Everything is about building and developing the squad to take us past that Quarter Final game.

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