Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has been talking about England’s chances at this summer’s World Cup, and he thinks they could raise a few eyebrows.
The Serbian defender will be leaving Old Trafford this summer, but he has high praise for two of those players tasked with replacing him – Phil Jones and Chris Smalling – along with their England teammates Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney.
All four are included in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the World Cup and Vidic believes the Three Lions have a good chance of making a few positive headlines at the tournament.
Speaking to United’s official website, Vidic said, “If you asked me about England, to be fair, I think they have more chance this year than last time.
“Maybe they have better players and I think the environment around the national team is better with lower expectations and this will help the players.”
It is true that there is not that bombastic sense of sudden overachievement that typically follows England into a major tournament.
You sense that this year the fans know they have little chance of winning the tournament – given the presence of the likes of Brazil, Spain and Germany – but that the young players Hodgson has picked have a real chance of making waves.
Jones and Smalling may have to wait for their chance to impress, with Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka likely to be Hodgson’s first-choice centre-back pairing, but Rooney is an almost certain starter while Welbeck will get plenty of minutes.
But can they turn a disappointing club campaign into an unforgettable international one? Stanger things have happened…