Results of England’s World Cup trial are in – and they’re not good
England’s 2-0 defeat to a superior Chile side at Wembley left Roy Hodgson looking to accentuate the positive, with comments about learning from the experience.
Unfortunately, England claim to be “learning” way too often without ever seeming to take much in. Indeed, as they have been interpreting repeated setback as some sort of educational process for at least thirty years now, it is fair to say that the teaching system in English football is well and truly broken.
The English players will wake up this morning to find they have drifted out to 25/1 to win the World Cup next summer. New customers using their £50 free bet to back a successful England campaign at that price will be £1,250 better off next July 13. Good luck.
England are now eighth favourites in a market led by hosts Brazil (10/3), Argentina and Germany (both 5/1).
Now that the time for learning is over, though, Roy Hodgson is expected to play his preferred XI, or at least those who are available, against Germany on Tuesday. After that, he has one more friendly, against Denmark in March, before he has to name his squad for the Brazil World Cup.
Germany prepared for the daunting prospect of meeting England with a 1-1 friendly in Italy, in which they scored through Mats Hummels, hit the woodwork three times, and missed a simple tap in for a winner at the end when two Germans got in each others’ way in the quest for glory.
So while school may be out for Hodgson and his pupils as they adjust to the “hard work” of preparing for the Brazil World Cup, on current form, the Germans will be teaching England a thing or two about how to play football on Tuesday.
As England currently feature a strike force that struggles to score goals, a defence that makes critical errors, and a midfield devoid of creativity, betting on England to beat Germany is likely to be a gesture of the purest optimism.
Of greater educational value will be the opportunity for punters to run the rule over Germany as a potential World Cup winner bet, as their odds of 5/1 to win are unlikely to lengthen before June.
As for England, they may be better off scrapping their last 30 years of school and going back to traditional English values of pressing, non-stop running and tackling at the limits of legality. It can’t be any less effective than what they currently produce.