With the World Cup drawing ever closer and the Confederations Cup about to whet our appetite for international competition, England fans are hoping that this World Cup might finally break their 50+ year drought, but a recent showing the U-21 championships may have England placing more pressure upon the upcoming venture. If a deep run or trophy does not appear in 2014, the window may start closing for the English faithful and their international stars.
When England would crash out of the Euros or out of the World Cup for the last decade or so, they would always be able to point to the future and better things. Players like Wayne Rooney have emerged and new stars seemed primed to take England to new heights, but there is new worry within the ranks. However, a failure in the next major tournament coupled with a very brief showing in the U-21 championships for England means that the future may be bleaker than the present.
The golden age of England players are retiring. Players like Lampard, Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Terry, and Glen Johnson are all nearing the time when international retirement is becoming a real possibility. Although players like Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, and Daniel Sturridge will allow for England to have some talent spaced throughout different ages, this may be the last decent window that England will get. And, sadly, recent fixture results do not seem to suggest that England is ready to take advantage of it.
The future of England’s squad is already within the ranks of the senior squad! These players are already getting their chance and are already getting playing time, meaning that there is no great hope waiting in the wings and England must create more with what they have. 2014’s World Cup may not be like any other tournament for the English and their future may truly rest on what type of footprint they leave in Brazil.
If Wayne Rooney could turn in an International team transfer request, I am sure that he would have. The struggles are here for England, and they will be labeled by the next few performances and it will show what direction they are heading in. For their sake and for the sake of all those of us that root for the Three Lions, let’s hope that they pull something out and keep their fan base from leaping upon their swords.