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England has definitely had the rub of the green against Sweden and Ecuador....Yet here they are 1 game from the semis and yet to hit 5th gear.
In previous tournaments (ignoring the lethargic display against Brazil in Japan 2002), England have played well only to go out to a Maradona hand goal (86) penalties (90), and penalties again in 1998.
Now with Rooney regaining match fitness for the final stages can England win the world cup this year?
Germany, Argentina and Brazil look strong but I think England will raise their game for these teams.
Am I hopelessly optimistic, or is England about to erase "40 years of hurt"?
I'm with New Order:
We're singing for England, Eng-er-land
Arriverderci, it's one on one
Having watched the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Germany (and others) playing good, constructive football, the England long ball approach looks out-dated.
It's gone 1am here in Thailand (and I'm a bit pished) and the Portugal/Holland match hasn't kicked off yet but I can't see England getting passed the winner of that match...still, as someone once said "It's a funny old game, Saint"
actually I think they are great, but so is Germany and Brazil. England barely squeezed 1-0 out of Ecuador, and with experienced teams it's total different game. While Rooney has started to improve, I remind you of Klose, Podolvski, Robinho, Ronaldo (finally awoke up), and Ronaldinho; they are just as unforgiving if they get the ball.
All that said, anything can happen, and England can win. We all know that the "best" team does not necessarily win, luck plays a huge role.
England will have it easier with the winner of Holland - Portugal though, it seems like the winner will have to play with their B team because of all thse yellow and red cards. Insane.
So it's England v Portugal. An excellent chance to make amends for the loss in Euro 2004 (another one we lost because of missed penalties)
Portugal may be without Deco, Figo and Ronaldo.....I also think this is the game Rooney comes of age in.
Other teams will look at our performances and think we are poor, but they'll look at our top players and also think they can play much much better... and we can, so that's quite a dangerous prospect for any opposition to consider.
I think we can win the World Cup, but I don't think we will, but we'll prove hard to beat for any nation, even those much better than us as a team, like Argentina or Brazil for example.
Rooney is the key, he's getting sharper and some of his play yesterday was exceptional, he can win games on his own and almost created 4 goal chances out of nothing but his strength and skill yesterday afternoon.
Fingers crossed :)
I still dream that all those fine players will come together as a team just for three matches.