United - England Expects or Does It?
Is it me or do the history books show, that apart from Brazil defying my theory, those teams that don`t shout about their chances of winning the World Cup tend to do quite well.
A typical example of this theory being the Germans, efficient, capable and always there or thereabouts when it comes to reaching the semi-final stages of the competition.
Unfortunately, the media in this country have this necessity to blow our trumpet, champion our hopes and shout from the roof tops that the Jules Rimet trophy is coming home!
More often than not, this xenophobic hysteria places too much pressure on the camp and dreams are dashed and our hopes drown in the sea of expectancy.
This time around, I sense, although it is early days yet, a far less compromising approach from the media, almost as if our bid for 2018 is sucking all the national fervour away from the England camp as they prepare for the 2010 tournament.
For me, it`s a good thing, pre-tournament expectation levels are not sky-high and there`s almost an air of calmness as we head towards South Africa, a mood of whatever will be will be.
Within the camp, ahead of the dreaded cut from 30 to 23 players, the squad appear relaxed, content that although the nation expects, the nation isn`t drowning it`s talent in pressure.
So, with a slightly different approach, could this be our year?
Could England`s talented squad finally come of age before age threatens to teat them apart?
Rio certainly feels we have the experience to go out to South Africa and do a job, remarking,
"It`s a good atmosphere. A lot of us have been together a few years now, not just the last two years of the qualifying campaign."
"It`s the most experienced squad we`ve had. A lot have played Champions League football for the last five years, if not then UEFA Cup games and a lot of England matches."
Whilst there`s no doubting the talent is there, previous tournaments have shown that a little bit of luck can often be required to progress, let`s hope 'Lady Luck` is looking down at us and she`s wearing an England shirt!
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