HOLD ON HOPE
Remember Goal 2010? Some years back, the Football Association of Singapore set 2010 as a target for the national team to qualify for the World Cup Finals. Obviously, the team did not come close but then again none of our South East Asian neighbours did either.
In the absence of Singapore in the World Cup, Singaporeans – being huge fans of English football – have usually supported England. Although with the cosmopolitan make-up of the Premiership nowadays, maybe this allegience has been relatively diluted.
Being of English-Portuguese ancestry (on my late father’s side), I naturally follow the fortunes of the respective national teams. England, the home of football, has only won the game’s top prize once (in 1966) and since then the closest they’ve come is a semi-final defeat to West Germany in 1990.
This year, English fans are hoping will be England’s year. But looking at the players in the England squad and their performances in qualifying matches and in friendlies, the team may be good enough to reach the last 8 but after that it will be a challenge. The problem with England is that many of its top players fail to deliver when the time comes. There are weaknesses and flaws in every department that superior teams will no doubt exploit.
However, as with any other competitive sport, it is teamwork and the winning mentality that will count in the end and that is the responsibility of coach Fabio Capello. On paper, England should ease through the group stage without a hitch against USA, Algeria and Slovenia but England will need to guard against complacency.
It won’t be easy…