What does the future hold for England? Where is the next generation?

06/06/2013 no comments »
England v Mexico - International Friendly

Photo: Wembley National Stadium Ltd

Where is the next England generation? The 2-2 draw against Brazil has left many fans in question whether the result was a triumph or a disappointment.

Brazil are unbeaten on home turf against European opposition ever since England’s triumph and that goal was scored by John Barnes way back in 1984. Therefore victory was never going to be easy for the three lions as they faced Brazil at Rio’s Maracana. However, it was a victory that nearly became possible as Wayne Rooney’s deflected shot put England 2-1 up with just 11 minutes to go -albeit It was a short lived lead as just three minutes later the scores were level once again.

And so 2-2 it finished and to some it felt like a victory just to avoid defeat to Brazil – particularly as the Brazilians outplayed England in front of their home crowd. However, if anything does this not highlight how short England fans expectations have fallen since Roy Hodgson’s appointment as manager? Pleased with avoiding defeat against a team supposedly 12 places below them according to FIFA’s world rankings – and it could have been worse had it not been for a man of the match performance from the England number 1 Joe Hart.

Drawing is becoming too much of a common theme lately for the England side who have drew 5 of their last 9 games including their last three. The other four results have included a defeat and three wins although two of which were over San Marino who are statistically the joint worst team on the planet. The England manager Hodgson himself has admitted that his side are not winning enough games – yet there is still yet to be any real improvements or answers seen.

Whilst the last two draws have only been in friendlies England have also drew half of their world cup qualifiers and have left themselves with some work to do to save themselves from the embarrassment of missing out on next year’s world cup.

However, it isn’t all doom and gloom for England as there are some positives and hope left for the nation. The first being that they are currently a team struck with a huge quantity of injuries – including key players such as the National captain Steven Gerrard as well as the potential future captain Jack Wilshire. They are also currently short of attacking options with two strikers recently picking up injuries in Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck. Therefore performances are likely to improve when key members return and the manager will have a fully fit squad to choose from.

Also there are many young talents that England have at the moment which encourages a prospective future. This was highlighted by the performance of the teenager Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain against Brazil who capped his performance with a goal he’ll remember for the rest of his life.

With the U21’s European Championship just about to get under way it is the perfect opportunity for fans to scout some home grown talent who may be on the edge of putting on the Three Lions jersey for the first team. The U21’s side themselves have been unlucky with injuries going into the tournament with the likes of FA cup hero Callum McManaman and Southampton’s Luke Shaw having to pull out. However there is still plenty of talent capable of catching fans and more importantly Roy Hodgson’s eyes.

For now though, highlighted by Rio Ferdinand’s recent international retirement, it seems the first team is somewhere in limbo between the “golden era” and waiting for the next generation.

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