Combing through the news wires, here is the immediate reaction from the English press and pundits to being drawn in the same group as the United States:
“We can’t argue with that draw and that’s as good as we could have expected,” said Terry Venables, who enjoyed a two-year spell as England national coach in the mid-1990s. “The US game will be tough because they’ll be very well organised and they’ll be fit. They won’t out-play us, but they could out-strength us, but they’ll be similar to the Sweden sides we’ve met at tournaments in the past: they’ll be solid. There won’t be too many players to out-skill us or shock us, but they’ll be strong. But we could still have hand-picked that group and been satisfied.”
“While the Americans were Confederations Cup finalists last year, and boast familiar Premier League faces like Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, they are the sort of side potential world champions should beat, especially with David Beckham able to give inside information,” said journalist Martin Lipton of The Daily Mirror.
“As finalists in last summer’s Confederations Cup – where they ended Spain’s 35-match winning streak – the USA will be confident of causing another sensation. However, even with Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey in their ranks, England should emerge unscathed from a game that gives them a great start geographically because Capello is hoping to use the area as a training base next summer,” said The Independent newspaper.
“England are dreaming of World Cup glory after landing a plum draw for next year’s finals. Fabio Capello’s men will come up against America, Algeria and Slovenia in Group C,” said The Sun newspaper.
“The USA are ranked 14th in the world and beat Spain, the European champions, in June’s Confederations Cup. But they are eminently beatable and it is the perfect chance for England to avenge one of the most humiliating defeats in their history – the 1-0 reverse at the 1950 World Cup finals,” said The Times newspaper.
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