So England will play the USA, Algeria, and Slovenia in the 1st round group stage in next year's World Cup. No England fan can possibly complain with this draw. The game against the USA will be a good test, but overall there's a lot of reasons to be optimistic.
I don't really know much about Algeria and Slovenia, but you'd expect England to be too strong for them. The USA game will be interesting. Already I'm hearing how it will be our chance to avenge our shock defeat to them in the 1950 World Cup finals.
Looking at the rest of the draw, like most people I'm pleased England avoided France and Portugal. I have to say I'm totally bored with playing Portugal in major championships!
Assuming England top Group C, they will face the runner up from Group D which includes Germany, Australia, Serbia, and Ghana. You'd expect Germany to top the group, but any one of the remaining three could finish second.
I'd prefer not to play Australia, purely on the fact that we have such a big sporting rivalry with them. The game would be too much like a derby match, and anything could happen.
As for the rest of the groups the most interesting is clearly group G with Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast, and Portugal.
I'm disappointed that Ivory Coast are in such a tough group again, as I had high hopes that they could make a real breakthrough in this World Cup for African nations. Even if they get out of the group behind favourites Brazil, they're most likely to end up playing Spain in the Second round.
With Group G being the most interesting and nearest thing to a 'Group of death' I've decided Groups E and F are competing for the title of 'Group of Boredom'
Holland, Denmark, Japan, and Cameroon in Group E hardly sets football pulses racing, but the winner has to be Group F. In that group you have Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, and Slovakia.
The Italians always have a reputation for being slow starters. If they get off to another slow start it will surely be down to the tedium of the opposition they face.
In saying this, I'll probably still end up watching just about every game in the tournament regardless of who's playing!
Only six months to go, let the count down begin.