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England: Land of hope and inferiority complex?

Tuesday 17th June 2014
As England lick their wounds from the defeat in their opening Group D game, Ian Reynolds looks ahead to the Uruguay match at the Arena de Sao Paulo in São Paulo

As an England fan of 26 years of age this means the tournament which is now in full swing in Brazil is my fifth experience of World Cup Finals football. I write this some 30 hours or so after England's opening game defeat to the Italians in Manaus .

Whilst expectations for success for Roy Hodgson's team have been considerably reigned in compared to previous tournaments, and rightly so in my opinion, something more striking about our perception of the world game has hit me this time around. England fans are used to disappointment, failure and mediocrity, but years of this appears to have warped the our view of the opposition and placed the majority of nations we end up facing at major tournaments on a pedestal.

Please do not get me wrong, i appreciate that there is no easy game in a tournament finals, and top nations such as Italy, Germany Brazil and alike need to be respected and to an extent feared. But lets use England's group stage opposition for the current word cup as an example. The negativity pre-tournament of the press and a large percentage of fans suggesting that England would be extremely lucky to qualify from the group stages is something i found astonishing.

Yes, Italy and Uruguay are teams that have the ability to beat England, as the Italians have already shown, but a footballing lesson was hardly given to England in no way were the three lions embarrassed. Perhaps more striking is the conclusions drawn about the abilities of Uruguay to dismantle England on Thursday evening. Yes a strike force containing Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani can cause a threat to any defence in the world.

However, is that analysis all the press and some fans need to draw a conclusion of doom for when England face of against the Uruguayans. Why are there not discussions about the ageing midfield and creaking defence, with the exception of Diego Godín. Uruguay will be likely to start with Diego Lugano alongside Godin. Lugano now 33 and having just been released by West Brom should be a player that the England front line can easily exploit.

The pace of the likes of Sturridge and Sterling will be a great concern for Lugano, who's turning speed is akin to a double decker bus these days. This combined with the absence through suspension of Maxi Pereira would suggest a back line that England can exploit to great effect. The midfield pairing of Arévalo and Gargano look leggy, and if Suarez 's fitness does not improve before Thursday is Diego Forlan a player that the England defence and fans should be fearing? i would suggest not.

This perspective of the Uruguayans, alongside their abject performance against Costa Rica arguably is evidence to suggest that England's press and fans perspective of some footballing nations needs to be re-evaluated.
Ian Reynolds
29 year old Tranmere Rovers fan, Serie A connoisseur and all round football nerd. Any feed back regarding any piece submitted by myself, positive or negative, is greatly appreciated. I talk about football on Twitter, a lot. Follow me @Ian_Reynolds87

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