They’ve arrived in Brazil and it’s all systems go come Saturday night for England – but with 2 warm up games already under their collective belts, we’ve learnt quite a bit about the side and how our experience as England fans might pan out over the next few weeks.
As we’ve got a while to burn before the World Cup starts and means we will pretty much be thinking about nothing but the World Cup and either watching games, eating, sleeping or watching re-runs of the games – here at the 7 things we’ve learnt from England’s run up to the World Cup…
Have Faith in Wayne Rooney… but don’t expect the World
So much of the press surrounding the England team is always centred around Wayne Rooney, so I’m going to get this out the way as soon as possible, because with a 23 man squad, it’s unfair that many of the hopes and criticisms be placed on a single man’s shoulders.
That being said – keep your faith in Rooney – he hasn’t got the contact he has, play for the team he does and have the medals he does for nothing… just don’t expect him to be doing it all himself – he needs a team to play with.
Ross Barkley needs to be Played
Talking of Wayne Rooney, there’s more and more excitement building around a player that somewhat mirrors Rooney’s rise. Still an Everton man, Ross Barkley’s inclusion in this squad was a testament to his season and Roy Hodgson’s aim to give some young blood their chance to shine in Brazil.
Hodgson cannot go back on this and leave Barkley on the bench – especially if things start to go against what we’re all hoping for (and let’s be honest, that’s very possible).
The ITV Pundits deserve a Knighthood on Return
Away from the pitch for a second and quite possibly the most controversial point I’m going to make - but no matter what you think of them, you’ve got to have gained respect for them during the storm-induced break in play against Honduras on Saturday.
“Why? They just bumbled their way through it”
you say… No, they had to stand in what must have been an unbearably hot tunnel for over 40 minutes, with no water, only a tissue each and had to talk about what had been a terribly uninspiring game before it was stopped… FOR 40 MINUTES – all whilst a camera lens was staring at them, knowing that it was sending out a live-feed of their sweat soaked hell to millions - most of which were taking snapshots of your anguish or tweeting quips about it all, laughing it up in their cool homes whilst sipping an ICE COLD beer.
How many of us have been in that situation before? We’ve all been on tube journeys along the Northern Line where we have emerged looking like the packed carriage has just given birth to us before… but it’s not been on live TV on a Saturday night. For that, they deserve a knighthood.
Daniel Sturridge is worth a Follow on Instagram
Having just mentioned Twitter, it reminds me of another platform we all use… Instagram – and if you’re an avid user of it and fancy making your feed a bit more World Cup orientated (because food snaps don’t really scream World Cup fever do they) then Daniel Sturridge’s Instagram account is worth a follow to see a players eye view of what taking part in a World Cup is like… and if his view from the England hotel is anything to go by – its an extremely envious position to be in.
Find him at: @dstudge
The Ox Question Mark
It’s simple – is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain going to be available or not? The England camp seem optimistic about him recovering from the knee injury he picked up against Ecuador but you can never be sure… especially as he’s an Arsenal player and they’re ALWAYS injured. But thankfully early reports suggest that he will be fully fit… which is a good thing because we need a player like him.
Whatever Happens these Players have got a serious pay-cheque from it…
Turn on the TV and unless you stumble midway into an argument on Jeremy Kyle, its most likely going to be an advert using an English World Cup player – be it Gerrard for Lucozade, Joe Hart for Gillette or James Milner for the Ped Egg, these players are taking home some serious endorsement money… no matter how well they do.
(Oh, Milner advertising for Ped Egg isn’t ACTUALLY real by the way).
We’re Still England
Then finally, something we all should know in the back of our minds anyway, no matter how much we try to repress it – we are still England. We still have exciting young players, we still have seasoned pros that can command the game at club level and when you put them together, we are still for the most part - uninspiring. We are England.
But for being England that also means being united. That also means being passionate. And that also means being the home of football. So let’s hope this last point is wrong and that we bring it back…
Oh and one last thing - if you fancy winning an England World Cup shirt signed by a legend, click here to find out more!