England will head to the World Cup brimming with confidence. It doesn't hurt that the English have been placed in what they will view as an easy group in which to play.
After the low of failing to qualify for Euro '08, England ran off eight
straight wins to win Europe's Group 6.
The person responsible for England's recovery is Fabio Capello, a
no-nonsense Italian with a long history of success as a coach at AC
Milan, Juventus, Roma and Real Madrid.
Remembering 1950 ...
"We've come a very long way under the manager," midfield stalwart Frank
Lampard told the Mirror recently . "Our confidence was rock
bottom from not
qualifying [for Euro 2008]. For England not to qualify for a major
tournament, I know it's happened quite a few times over the years, but
it is a low point. We're a top nation with top players and we should be
England captain John Terry
isn't yet guaranteeing World Cup success.
After all, England has advanced to the semifinals of the World Cup only
once - Italia '90 - since winning the World Cup at home in 1966.
"We've got huge improvements to make all over the field, in defense and
going forward," said the Chelsea defender, "and I'm sure the manager in
the next few games will try different things."
Besides a core of stars - Steven
Gerrard, Wayne Rooney,
Lampard - most jobs are up for grabs.
Los Angeles Galaxy star David Beckham
should make the team but faces
stiff competition on the right side of midfield, where Tottenham's
Aaron Lennon has stood out
Robert Green (West Ham)
David James (Portsmouth)
Ashley Cole (Chelsea)
Rio Ferdinand (Man. United)
Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
Matt Upson (West Ham)
John Terry (Chelsea)
Gareth Barry (Man. City)
David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
Aaron Lennon (Tottenham)
Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham)
Emile Heskey (Aston Villa)
Wayne Rooney (Man. United)