The Linc Sport team is made up of a dedicated team of writers and once a week, they will join together to discuss the big sporting issue of the week.
This week Linc Sport asks, “Have England impressed during the qualifying campaign suitably enough to have a chance in Brazil next year?”
Of course they haven’t. England should have expected to qualify from that group with ease. They instead had to do it right at the death. We should have had it wrapped it up long before the Poland game. The only way we have a chance in Brazil is if we play the Tony Pulis Stoke way.
It’s been a typical England qualifying campaign; leaving everything until the last game. The matches against Montenegro and Poland have given us a cause for optimism, but realistically, not many England fans will expect the team to lift the World Cup next year.
England weren’t impressive at all during their qualifying campaign, but during the game tonight we did see glimpses of promise for next year. We won’t be playing tika taka football but if we play to our strengths, ie power and pace, we will perform respectfully.
Max Mclean – Linc Sport Sub Editor
The last two games, especially after the Ukraine draw, have been a breath of fresh air and a cause for optimism for England fans. Undefeated in a group with Montenegro, Poland and Ukraine is a decent achievement. England fans should be happy their team is going to what will be the biggest football party on the planet!
Paul Battison – The Linc News Editor
If England win the World Cup in Brazil, it would be an unbelievable achievement. I don’t think many people will be expecting them to though, and rightly so. However, if England plays bright attacking football like they did against Poland and Montenegro, I won’t have any complaints. Recent displays give us hope that they’ve turned a small corner.
I wasn’t all that impressed during qualifying although the games were tricky at times. It was a case of doing it the hard way, which contrasts to the qualifying campaigns for the last World Cup and Euro 2012 where it was more straightforward. We should progress to the knockout phase in Brazil but we cannot hope for better than the last eight.
England has the potential to reach the quarters at best at their current standard. A fit Townsend, Walcott and Chamberlain could provide England with the lightening pace and flair to unlock better team’s defences where they’ve struggled before. England is possibly a real quality playmaker away from challenging in the latter stages.
I’m not saying we will win the World Cup. But people moaning because we didn’t qualify after six games typify the English mentality that we have some god-given right to be at major tournaments. We don’t. We have to earn it. We did. And we’ll give any side in the world a game on our day.
If the question was asked before the Montenegro and Poland games, you would have to say no. Lacklustre performances away to the better sides in the group left England with a lot to do it the last two games to qualify. That said, England showed glimpses of something good in the two must win qualifiers at Wembley this week.
As far as England qualifying campaigns go, we haven’t done too badly considering the group wasn’t quite as straightforward as was first assumed and with a decent side like Ukraine, it was always going to be difficult to run away with the group. England have left us with a fair amount of hope to cling onto going into Brazil with the style of play noticeably more forward and attacking, although fans shouldn’t get too excited because our realistic chances of lifting the cup or even coming close is undoubtedly slim.
Delighted that we’ve qualified and I’m very much behind Hodgson because he seems to actually pick players based on form but I still have fairly low expectations. I don’t think the defence in particular is anywhere near strong enough for us to come close to winning a World Cup. We’ve got good players there but they’re not top class players or close to what we’ve had there in the past. Even Poland managed to expose us there last night and they could’ve easily scored on the counter.
The last two games against Montenegro and Poland have obviously been really positive and the whole shape of the team seems to be as solid as I’ve seen for a good while with England. These last two games have showed that we can perform when it truly matters, and although it’s highly doubtful that we’ll actually win the World Cup, I think we will go far!
Qualification has very little bearing on whether a particular nation succeeds or fails at a World Cup the following year. Having said that, when it comes to playing in the World Cup itself, we lack the skill and confidence of the aforementioned teams and that is ultimately why we come up short more often than not and I don’t personally see that changing in the near future.Tweet