It’s not something that can be readily said about England fans. Pessimistic, yes; downright negative, yes, but never easy going and laid back about their potential prospects, never.
With Frank Lampard’s late penalty salvaging a point against Ukraine avoiding embarrassment for the Three Lions as their World Cup qualifying campaign begins to take shape, England football fans have had their say on their team’s prospect and despite the slip up at Wembley they remain positive of their progression to Brazil in two year’s time.
In a recent poll conducted by GiveMeFootball, over 55 percent of fans polled said they remained confident of England qualifying for the 2014 World Cup despite the 1-1 draw with Ukraine – although they admitted they didn’t expect it to be plain sailing.
It would also appear there is another band of England fans with a sunnier disposition than most would expect – 36% percent said that despite the draw last night that England would qualify for the World Cup at a canter, in a manner similar to that of their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.
In contrast, a miserly 6% believed there would be a repeat of their disastrous Euro 2008 campaign which saw England fail to reach a major final for the first time since 1994.
Optimism surrounding England has been hard to come by in recent years thanks to a succession of tournament failures, and upon initial inspection there is little so far to hint that this time will be any different under Roy Hodgson.
While displaying an admirable defensive resilience at Euro 2012 there wasn’t exactly plenty to write home about when it came to attacking verve; something that was highlighted in the brightest light as they exited the tournament at the hands of eventual finalist Italy.
Since then however Hodgson has promised a more adventurous style while also pledging to give the next generation of talented youngsters a shot at the big time as he tries to guide England to the World Cup.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tom Cleverley have both been given a chance to shine while Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana and Jake Livermore have also been given a taste of what it’s like to be a full England international.
Of course, England fans’ positive outlook is not only shaped by the young prospects looking to push out the final remnants of the tarnished ‘Golden Generation’ – if only it were that straight forward.
Unfortunately, rather than buoyed by the sheer amount of natural talent England can call upon, their fans may simply be optimistic because of the calibre of opponent in their qualifying group.
Their first game of the group against Moldova ended up in a comfortable 5-0 win for the Three Lions, and despite falling behind to a wondergoal against Ukraine last night, England defender Joloen Lescott has expressed his belief that the toughest test of the group has been and gone already.
Poland and Montenegro (of whom, England have plenty of previous with when it comes to qualifying upsets) should keep Hodgson’s side honest but equally should be dispatched of while San Marino, who they play next, will surely become the group’s whipping boys. Not the easiest of tests in all, but there is little doubt, especially among the fans at least, that England should be able to pass through comfortably and secure their place in Brazil.
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