March 19, 2010 – It is 83 days to the world biggest sporting event, the World Cup. Coaches are busy making their last minutes choices while players are torn between going all out to justify selection and risking injury. It is a once in four years event and most players only gets once chance in their lifetime to excel in the World Cup.
England last won the World Cup in 1966. Since then they never look like they could ever win it again. The English game is just too stereotyped. Long balls and pure brute strength without any imagination. Nevertheless, I am a follower of English football since I was a twelve year old. All these years, while the general crowd would cheer for Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Italy, I suffer in silence to see the English team playing the role of a supporting cast each time.
In this World Cup, Spain are the outright favourites and again, England doesn’t look to be in Spain’s league. I could only hope for the notorious Spanish inconsistent form when the going gets tough and for Wayne Rooney to bulldoze his way through all the defenses which he has so successfully done in this year’s EPL. Other than Spain, there are also other Titans in the form of Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Italy and Portugal. Even the African dark horses could spring a surprise.
For me, even before the World Cup started, England has been struck by bad luck when it lost two of its most talented players. David Beckham and Michael Owen injured themselves and ruled themselves out of the World Cup.
Critics will say that they are over the hill and there is no great loss, but there is no better free kick taker in England other than David and there is no better natural poacher in front of the goal other than Michael.
It is truly sad that they miss their last chance to play in a World Cup.
It is now up to Rooney, Terry, Ferdinand, Gerard, Lampard and Co.