It is never easy being an England fan. The side seems to be either woefully underperforming, in the middle of scandals or suffering from just sheer bad luck. Being an England supporter really should come with a health warning.
For generations England have promised so much yet delivered so little. The current incumbent lot seem just another run of the mill England team — bags of potential but failing to fulfil.
But do not despair my dear people, the future is bright, very bright. As you’re about to see, the team England might put out in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup could bring back the glory days, well the glory day of ’66. We know for a fact that Capello is on his way out and the current squad isn’t exactly full of spring chickens. Lampard, Ferdinand, Cole, Barry and Terry will all most probably be past their sell by dates come Brazil.
So who will be pulling on the three lions come 2014? Let’s look into the future to envision the team and how what age they’ll be during the summer of 2014:
Joe Hart, 27
Lets face it. Joe Hart has been a revelation. Not since the days of Seaman have England had someone as reliable between the sticks. His enthusiasm to put on an England shirt is something rarely seen in today’s game.
Micah Richards, 26
He seems to have been around forever but he’s only 22. For many, he should be Capello’s first choice right back but he struggles to make it on the pitch. Since bursting on to the scene, Richards has worked tirelessly to improve his game. His blistering pace, coupled with his ever improving defending, singles him out as England’s right back of the future.
Phil Jones, 23
Already a key component in Sir Alex’s tilt at another title. And amazingly he is only 19. The youngster has shown bags of talent at Blackburn and now at United. Under Ferguson’s stewardship the sky really is the limit. He looks at home on the big stage following his £16.5m move and will probably be key to England in Poland and Ukraine in 2012 as well as Brazil.
Chris Smalling, 24
Jones’ team mate at United has had a steady yet impressive start to life at Manchester United. Tall and deceptively strong the former Fulham star possesses all the attributes to be a top player. He is hungry to succeed as well, having risen from non-league football to the international stage. This hunger is exactly what England needs, someone who knows what it means to the fans.
Kieran Gibbs, 24
Ok so when I said the future looks really bright, I may have fibbed about the left back slot. Not that Kieran Gibbs is not talented because he sure has the potential to be a good player but whether or not he is international class is questionable. He also has a hard act to follow in Ashley Cole. Gibbs is one of a plethora of left backs that could be in the slot come 2014 with Leighton Baines (30) still knocking on the door as well as Stephen Warnock (33).
James Milner, 28
The versatile midfielder should be his pomp when the next World Cup occurs. Capable of whipped crosses reminiscent of the great Beckham (all hail) and killer through balls, Milner should give England the edge when push comes to shove. His versatility makes him key to England who have been cursed with rigid formations and tactics for too long.
Jack Wilshere, 23
The future captain of England. No doubt about it. Maybe not in 2014 but definitely in the future. Wilshere is the brightest young light in English football. His vision is not dissimilar to that of Xavi or Iniesta. His composure on the ball already at just 19 singles him out to be one of the players of his generation. But, like so many other English superstars, utilising that talent and turning club form into the England set up is a whole different kettle of fish.
Jack Rodwell, 23
The midfield rock that England have been missing for some time now. The Everton academy graduate is not afraid to pull his sleeves up and get stuck in. His holding ability in the centre of the park is the perfect foil for Wilshere’s more creative side. If only Capello could see that these two Jacks are the future of English football and give them some game time.
Ashley Young, 29
In recent years England have struggled with the left winger role. However, the future here is very bright with a number of talented players trying to lay claim to the place. Young has been in exceptional form for Manchester United since his summer move from Aston Villa and should be on the plane to Brazil come 2014. Just like Milner on the other flank, Young should be at his peak and with his startling pace and eye for the spectacular you would back him to make an impression on the world’s biggest stage.
Wayne Rooney, 28
The one, the only Wayne Rooney. Who else? This boy ain’t half special. But how special will the man become? Rooney is a phenomenal player at the moment and in 2014 the then 28 year old will (hopefully) be mature both on and off the field. No silly kicks at Montenegrin’s, no late night rendezvous with people he shouldn’t be with. We hope. A Rooney in form could win England the World Cup. Unfortunately for us, Rooney never seems to turn up at the big international tournaments. Hopefully Euro 2012 can pave the way for Rooney to fulfil his promise at international level.
Andy Carroll, 24
Who to pair with Rooney is a tricky one, and one that could shape England’s chances. However, sticking Carroll up there with Rooney guarantees goals. A beast in the air and with clinical finishing skills, there is no reason Carroll couldn’t rival Rooney for supremacy. One does fear that Carroll’s £35m price tag could hold his progress back though.
Other ones to watch:
England’s defence will have a solid look about especially when the likes of Gary Cahill (28) can’t make the team (in my eyes). By 2014 England should also have Stokes’s centre back Ryan Shawcross (26) in contention as well. The midfield is also shaping up to have an exciting look to it with the likes of Jordan Henderson (24), Ross Barkley (20), Josh McEachran (21) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (20) all looking like being top quality players. Up front as well the likes of Theo Walcott (24) and Danny Welbeck (23) continue to bring excitement to Wembley.
So if a 2-2 draw with Montenegro has left you feeling blue. Do not fear! England are in a prime position to take on the world. We just need a manger who can actually speak English…