Come on England!

Come on England!

Now the Premier League season has finished its time to really start looking forward to the World Cup. My colleagues at Spurs will be going into it on a high after securing our Champions League spot and now we have done what we set out to do it is time to focus on England.

I am lucky enough to be going out to work on the World Cup for television and I am looking forward to seeing the stadiums in South Africa and the development that has taken place. There has been lots of speculation about how it will go, will they be ready and so on but it seems that whenever the event comes around the doubters are proved wrong. I hope that is the case this time too. It’s an exciting time for Africa and African football and I hope it is a great tournament as the significance to Africa cannot be underestimated.

I think Spain are going to be very strong. Most of their players play in La Liga and I know from speaking to people around their squad, that their players really enjoy getting together as a squad for internationals. That sort of spirit can be crucial to have a successful world Cup campaign. When you think that players like Cesc Fabergas aren’t guaranteed a starting place and Mikel Arteta can’t get into their squad, you can see their strength in depth. They will be hoping however that Torres has time to get fit.

Argentina will be a strong team even though they struggled to qualify. We have seen it before where sides that have struggled to qualify go on to have a good tournament. They have good players including the best player in the world in Lionel Messi and Higuain has been scoring goals at Real Madrid. Carlos Tevez was without a doubt Manchester City’s player of the season and Javier Mascherano has had a good season for Liverpool despite a disappointing season for the team as whole. So Argentina has in form players and the huge World Cup experience.

The usual suspects – Brazil, Germany and Italy will figure, they always get through the group stages and I hope that one of the African sides can use their home advantage to finally make the final stages of the tournament. I don’t think it’s too long before an African side makes the final. The Ivory Coast seem the most likely to progress with Didier Drogba leading their attacking threat.

That brings us to England. We seem to speak about the same things before every tournament. It is key for us to go into a tournament with players 100% fit if we are to have a genuine chance of success. We always have great anticipation but we always seem to be missing a key player through injury. For us to do well we need our best players fit. We have currently have question marks over Gareth Barry, Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand. Ashley Cole and Aaron Lennon have only just come back – that could help – they may be fresh, but no side wants to go into the world cup with so many key players having question marks over their fitness.

The only good thing is we have three friendlies in which the manager can access the talent he has available.

From my point of view I think Michael Dawson has had an outstanding season and should go. Tom Huddlestone has been mentioned too, he does offer something different in midfield and if Ledley King is fit he has to go – he is a must. Bobby Zamora may get called up for the friendlies. For me he offers all that Emile Heskey offers but with more of a goal threat. People will talk about his lack of experience at international level but he has scored goals for Fulham in Europe this season and that shows he is capable of the step up.

I am very excited about the tournament. The countdown to it has seemed endless and finally it’s nearly upon us. I’m looking forward to being out there, experiencing the first African world cup and watching the best players in the world -on the greatest stage. Come on England!

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One Comment

  1. Posted by john thomson on May 24, 2010

    come on the yids what a great season and thank you les for all your hard work we all love you john thomson

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