As the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2014 draws ever closer, England fans are speculating as to our chances against some of the world’s finest teams.
While many experts around the world over have named Brazil as the winning team, largely thanks to the climate in Rio, proud England fans are starting to feel a little more optimistic.
What the pundits say
Prior to the release of Roy Hodgson’s official England team, former England manager Kevin Keegan was not too optimistic about the team’s chances back in December 2013. However, times have changed, and current England manager Roy Hodgson said in May that he has every faith in his younger 23-man squad, which has left out former England stars including Ashley Cole and Jermain Defoe.
What the players say
No England player is likely to be more optimistic than the team’s captain, Steven Gerrard. In a recent interview, Gerrard claimed that nationwide pessimism about the England team’s performance could be just what they need to do well in the World Cup. While he didn’t explicitly say that the team could win, he did have high hopes for the team. “I think low expectations can help but there’s no harm in dreaming.
“We’ve got an endless amount of talent and ability and I think all the England fans hope the players can perform at a World Cup with no fear and give it their best shot.” Frank Lampard added that the squad was a “mixture of youth and experience.”
What the scientist says
Forget the octopus – theoretical physicist and genius Stephen Hawking has even added his two cents on the England team. The man behind A Brief History of Time has made a complex calculation of what could affect the England team in Brazil, citing a 5° C rise in temperature as a hindrance for the boys.
However, he did add that a 4-3-3 formation would give the lads a far bigger chance of success than a 4-4-2, while wearing red shirts and playing at 3pm local time could all improve their odds.
What the fans say
Of all the experts, the least optimistic group of England supporters are the fans themselves, it seems. A feature by Ask Men could think of ten reasons as to why we won’t hold the cup, while fan forums are not showing much positivity towards England’s chances in what they call the ‘deadly group D.’
For now, we will just have to wait until June.