Roy Hodgson's side have been heavily criticized lately for their negative tactics when playing against technically superior teams. 

England haven't secured their qualification for the World Cup yet and a bad result against Ukraine may mean that they won't qualify for football's biggest tournament. 

England have been ruled out as contenders for the World Cup due to their poor form and this time the expectations surrounding them are alarmingly low. 

Usually England head into World Cups as contenders but fail, making them underachieve but this time around qualification would be deemed as an achievement. 

So the expectation of performing is off England's star players who usually perform only at club level like Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard. 

This brings us to the question, how far will they go in the World Cup if they qualify? 

One important thing is that the pressure will be off so they can play their football freely in the World Cup without as much criticism as they used to get. England also need a new manager, Hodgson is efficient and can get results like he did against Brazil but England need a manager who can help improve their overall play and get results.  

England also need to step out of their comfort zone and try new formations in training and restrain from using the rigid 4-4-2 system. England have creative players in Steven Gerrard, Jack Wilshere and Wayne Rooney and their skill isn't used in the right way for England. 

Rooney who is most comfortable playing behind the striker is being played as an out and out striker and Wilshere isn't being played as an attacking midfielder so if these key players are assigned positions they deploy at club level then maybe England can achieve some success. 

Another shortcoming of England is that they are reliant on set pieces and individual brilliance for goals and it is very rare that you see England score team goals. It is obvious that their team chemistry wouldn't be very good as they play for many different clubs but they should attempt more short and simple passes and also try to retain possession more efficiently. 

England also don't have a good defensive midfielder who links defense and attack, Gerrard, Lampard or Wilshere are usually deployed there when they are actually playmakers. 

Reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup will be an overachievement for England. Usually reaching the quarters of a major tournament would be deemed as an underachievement by the England press but such have been the performances of England that they have been written off a year before the tournament has even begun. 

But maybe England without the usual pressure on them can surprise us all. 

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here:

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: