England’s journey to Russia was characterized by a comfortable 10 games unbeaten run. However, they scored only 18 goals in the whole campaign. The team struggled to break the defensive line of most of their opponents, especially those who employed a more defensive mode of play.
Although England topped their group and didn’t lose a game, there are serious concerns that may need to be addressed. With the departure of the former coach Sam Allardyce and retire of Wayne Rooney from international football, it is evident that major changes may affect the team. This, nonetheless, doesn’t mean that the team is doomed to fail since the current team form and focus is to become worthy contenders in Russia.
The main notable thing in England’s qualifying campaign is that they did not set the world alight. This was despite having the highest average attendance in any qualifier matchup. A match in the qualifying fixtures that almost disappointed England fans was against a weaker 10 man Malta side. However, England managed to win in the last minutes. This is worrying considering that England will be facing stronger sides in the world cup group stages.
Tottenham Hotspur legendary striker Harry Kane came to the rescue of his team in several occasions with crucial goals in the World Cup qualifying games. He will be going to Russia as the team’s captain after his appointment in October 2017.
Liverpool’s midfielder Jordan Henderson who remains as the number one Southgate’s preferred choice to anchor the midfield will also be going to Russia. He will work closely with another of Tottenham’s midfielder Eric Dier.
Marcus Rashford will be deployed as a wide attacker from the bench. He will be striving to make something out of his matches in Russia. Meanwhile, Dele Alli is known for his clever runs from midfield to finding the net.
The other players who can make a big impact is as follows:
- Among the team’s strong strikers will be Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck.
- Manchester City’s Kyle Walker is a vibrant attacking right-back and the head coach might deploy him in the first eleven for every game.
- Among the team’s major players who will be making their debut at the World Cup are Tottenham’s midfielder Harry Winks, Leicester’s Harry Maguire and Michael Keane.
The History of England at the World Cup
England has made 14 appearances in the world cup tournament including the last one in Rio. Here, England failed to win any of their group matches. Consequently, they did not get out of the group stages.
The last glorious moment for England was back in 1966 when they hosted and won the world cup. Ever since, getting to the finals have proven impossible.
It will be a tough call for Gareth Southgate to prove that he is the right man for the job even after the qualification. This is because the England fans feel that there is still much to be done to scoop a series of victories that will take the team up the ladder of glory.