With the World Cup fast approaching, many England fans are somewhat doubtful of what the nation can achieve. A group with Italy and Uruguay in would be a daunting task for any international team looking to progress to the knock-out stages, and with England’s team somewhat weaker than their predecessors, I’ve come up with a short list of England’s dark horses that may well help the Three Lions upset the odds of the group.
The Evertonian left-back may well prove a catalyst for England’s defence. Although he has less international experience than others, his vision, pinpoint passing and spectacular free-kick ability could bring a few shocks to the Italian and Uruguayan defences. Along with his attacking abilities, Baines can also defend, something that perhaps is lacking on the opposite flank. For me, Baines can cause problems for the opposition, and is able to prevent them happening in his own half, something that must be considered when playing against teams with immense attacking prowess.
Southampton would certainly be lacking in the goals department without their home-grown talent. Lallana has proven this season that he can create, pass and score goals, something that is imperitive to England being successful in this World Cup campaign. With the likes of Rickie Lambert, Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney up front, Lallana provides the perfect fit for creating chances for the strikers, as his ability to run at a defence and have a pop from some range. With this in mind, Lallana has played only a handful of games for his country, making his experience very limited, however I do believe he can step up to the plate and come up big when England need him most.
At 23 years old, Henderson has proved he has what it takes to play in a winning squad. With Liverpool just week away from lifting the Premier League title, Henderson has played a huge part in their surge to success once more. The central midfielder reminds me somewhat of a younger Steven Gerrard, in the respect that he can find a pass, stand strong with the ball and isn’t afraid to make a challenge. I think that him and Jack Wilshere could be the solid midfield partnership of the England team in the next few years, but for now the Liverpudlian partnership of Gerrard and Henderson could prove vital for England, letting them pick up where they’ve left off in the Premier League.
If Hodgson plays his tactics right, and other results go England’s way, we could well see a successful campaign from the Three Lions for the first time in over a decade.