Saturday 7 December 2013

World Cup Draw: Time for England to 'man up'

Watching yesterday's World Cup draw I started feeling really excited about next year's tournament.

I've got high hopes for this World Cup, maybe because it's in Brazil it feels a bit more exotic, I've never watched a World Cup in South America. I just feel this World Cup could be something special.

As for England, we discovered we'll be in a group containing Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

A group of death? Not really, but admittedly it's a group that's going to ask some serious questions of England.

Anyone who knows my thoughts on football, will know that I now watch England with indifference. It's the way forward. I'm only going to get excited about England when they reach a semi final of a World Cup or European Championship.

It annoys me that some people are complaining we're in a difficult group. England have had so called 'easy' groups before. Just deal with it!

In South Africa in 2010 we faced the footballing giants of the USA, Algeria and Slovenia. The tournament took place during South Africa's winter which was meant to help us but we still made hard work getting out of the group.

In Germany in 2006 our group contained Sweden, Paraguay and Trinidad. We qualified from it but it was uninspiring stuff. This time round we've been given a tougher assignment but so what, that's the luck of the draw.

How will England do in this group?

An opening game against Italy is tough - straight away we're up against a true footballing heavyweight. But I'd rather play a team like Italy than say a Bosnia or Algeria. Immediately, England know they have be on their game.

It's not going to be easy but Italy always start off slowly themselves. The main worry is the conditions of playing in the jungle and the fact Italy outclassed England in Euro 2012. A draw will be a good result.

Next game is against Uruguay in Sao Paulo. In 2010 I loved Uruguay, I thought they played some great stuff and Diego Forlan was superb.

Any team with Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani is going to cause problems but I'm wondering what else Uruguay have got. Maybe reaching the semi finals in 2010 was the peak for this squad.

Final game is Costa Rica. I know nothing about Costa Rica, all I do know is that England have to win this game.

It's going to be difficult

Er yes... it's the World Cup. Ok we could be in an easier group but it's time for England to 'man up' and get on with it. Stop complaining.

England embrace the challenge, it's a chance for players to prove themselves against the best on a world stage - that's the attitude I want from England.

We're not going to win the World Cup, there's no expectation so I want England to play without inhibition and we'll see what happens.

Who will win it?

Everything points to an all South American final. Brazil are obvious favourites but I've got a feeling Argentina could cause Brazilian heartbreak by beating them in next year's final.

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