Under Fabio Capello in 2010, England had qualified efficiently for the World Cup in South Africa and hopes were high.
Twenty-nine-year-old Steven Gerrard and a strong John Terry at the back-line, even Jamie Carragher had come along to help out, things were looking up.
One win and two draws in the group stage compiled the misery and confusion amongst the squad, and whatever you think of Frank Lampard's 'non-goal', we were beaten by Germany at the next stage.
Nerves have a history of getting to the players though, and Euro 2012 was a good performance. Topping a group including France and Sweden and holding our own against eventual finalists Italy was by no means an easy feat. Now though, Roy Hodgson has had more time in the hot seat, so what is acceptable for England in Brazil?
He has given his former Liverpool man Steven Gerrard the captaincy, and there is no doubting his leadership qualities in the midfield. Gary Cahill has had a stellar season in the Chelsea back four, and many people are eager for John Terry to reconsider his position and come back to partner Cahill. With a solid defensive line, the real emphasis and discussion regarding places seems to have gone to the attackers (barring the Luke Shaw/ Ashley Cole situation).
Raheem Sterling seems to have hit form at the perfect time, while Adam Lallana has enjoyed a fantastic campaign in Southampton's midfield. Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge are both sure to be on the plane, and with Danny Welbeck most likely to join them, a lot of attention has been placed on that fourth (or maybe fifth) attacking option.
All of the players linked or most likely to be in the squad are very capable players, and should be able to at least put up a performance against the world's elite. With England going out at the quarter-final stage of the 2006 World Cup and at Euro 2012, what are we now expecting with this squad?
The group stage is one of the toughest around, and probably the toughest in England's history. Many fans don't expect the national side to escape the grasp of Italy and Uruguay, and with players such as Pirlo and Suarez, there is evidence to suggest why.
If England made it to the knockout stages then, would that be enough? The answer depends on the style of how to a lot of fans. If a 2-0 win over Costa Rica on the last match day gets England over the line having drawn 0-0 and 1-1, then possibly not.
However, if a hard fought 2-1 win over Uruguay supports a last match win over Costa Rica having lost to Italy, then a lot of fans would be happier, despite being beaten.
Who England would get in the following round remains to be seen, but certainly a quarter final place would be well received, even if a penalty shootout follows.
Although, with psychologist Dr Steve Peters attempting to help the mindset of the players, who knows. Personally, a place in the knockout round would be a great performance if England can triumph over either Italy or Uruguay, but many fans will be dreaming of greater things for the Three Lions this summer.
Some fans will be dreaming of a semi-final place, or maybe even greater.
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