After England's 4-1 victory over Montenegro and the 2-0 win over Poland, I doubt i'm the only England fan getting a little carried away about our chances in Brazil, but just what should we be expecting from our boys?
We've gone through a transition period from expecting England to be contenders in competitions, to settling for group stage progression. The 'well if we don't expect them to win then maybe they might!' mindset was cast over the recent Euro 2012 competition and in all fairness, that was just an act really to relieve the 'pressure' on the team (I put pressure in inverted commas because I found the whole thing to be ridiculous).
The likes of Hart, Gerrard, Lampard & Rooney for example should be made to feel pressure as their own club football is riddled with it, being expected to win leagues and cups, etc.
These players (and perhaps probably most if not all the England teams players) should have added pressure on them, they should be able to perform under these circumstances no excuses given and relieving it, in my opinion, is perhaps placing them in a complacent mindset.
We have so many match-winners - superstars in some sense - and yet we have been so disappointing in previous competitions, but has something suddenly clicked these past two games for Roy's team?
These performances have been so far ahead of the others that it is - dare I say it - exciting!
There was a pace, power and purpose to their play and finally a distinct style during the whole 90 minutes in each (most notable in the Poland game). Closing down from the front, becoming more direct yet maintaining a decent amount of possession and not bumbling through games for once.
I must get on to Townsend - an absolute star in the two games - simply because he represents the way forward for England (not saying he's a superstar, that would be naive).
Every time he received the ball he had a purpose, he drove at his defender and took him on, he would move the game forward and inject a bit of speed into the attack, which is such a relief considering Walcott just doesn't seem to want to do this.
He could cross a ball, have a final product, what a relief to finally have this. He could also mix it up by cutting inside and shooting, whether this be on his right or left foot (his blinding effort which hit the bar an example) and he gave England so many options. If the side can inject this direct style that he has brought with him, this almost ignorant and fearless attitude to the game then we stand a chance of fulfilling our expectations.
I am not a fan of this 'England aren't good enough' thought, the simple fact is - we are. We should be winning World Cups and European competitions with the players we have (or at least should of won some) because these are players that have won Champions Leagues, Europa Leagues, Premier Leagues, FA Cups... they aren't nobodies.
There seems to have been a lack of confidence in the side for a number of years, yet these performances have shown none of the burdens that we have witnessed before - but maybe I am getting carried away.
Having been brought up in an era of disappointment, maybe this could be the start of something special for England...or maybe they will build us up to knock us straight back down again.
Whatever the outcome, support and belief is key for our boys to have a great World Cup in Brazil.
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