For the first time in years, England will head to a World Cup finals with very low expectations.
Having been pitted in Group D against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica, there are strong suggestions that Roy Hodgson’s men may not even make it out of their group, let alone reach the final.
Over the years, the Three Lions have been hyped up as one of the favourites to win the World Cup, but they have always flattered to deceive. In fact, England have not progressed beyond the quarter-finals of football’s biggest competition since 1990.
This time the expectations are very low, but captain Steven Gerrard believes that this is actually going to work in their favour. Without the pressure and the burden, England may be able to play better, and the Liverpool midfielder admits that he and his teammates are “dreaming” of World Cup glory.
‘I think (low expectations) can help but there's no harm in dreaming’, the 33-year-old told Sky Sports News. ‘Us players dream as well, you always say to yourself 'what if', 'what if it does happen' and you prove all the doubters wrong and you go on to have a successful World Cup?... It's a very difficult competition but there's excitement and belief in the squad they we can do well’.
Many believe that 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil will be the dawn of a new era for England. There are a number of young players and all will be determined to play to the best of their abilities for their country.
The likes of Luke Shaw, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge will be the faces of England for years to come.
Wilshere is another young England player who is destined for greatness. The 22-year-old is just coming off the back of an FA Cup triumph with Arsenal, and believes that he and his English compatriots can make some heads turn in Brazil.
‘I hope so’, The Mirror quotes him as saying. ‘We all know each other well’.
Hope springs eternal...