The future for England
100% record is required to be back amongst the big boys
- Monday nights 2-0 defeat of 9th ranked Switzerland was a perfect tonic to England's recent ill-health. Hodgson's young team coped well against a good, experienced Swiss side, but the rest of the qualifying process now needs to go down just as smoothly for the Three Lions to slowly recouperate in their struggle against the cronic disease of mediocrity they have been blighted with all summer.
That win in Basle probably means that England might jump up a couple of ranking places to 18th when the next set are published on 18th September. But aye, here's the rub:
According to football-rankings.info England could have dropped to as low as 26th in the new ranking if they had drawn against the Swiss. One place above both Scotland and Wales!
And here's the frightning part: The rest of Group E: Lithuania (currently ranked 103rd), Estonia (93rd), Slovenia (39th) and San Marino (208th) might look like a breeze, but ranking points will be hard to come by. England will be expected to beat these teams and so therefore the reward of ranking points will be less.
England will qualify for Euro 2016. It's a no-brainer. But anything other than a 100% record in this group and it will be very difficult for England to get back into the top ten and attain the real prize: automatic seeding for tournaments. Not being seeded has it's dangers (See World Cup 2014 draw for starters), and currently Football-rankings.info has England outside the seeding spots for both Euro 2016 and the World Cup in 2018.
If England want to stop coming home early from major finals they can seriously help themselves by being in the right place before a ball is kicked. A top seed in the draw.
Posted: 11th September 2014 2:55pm
England v Switzerland Preview
Euro 2016 Qualifying Group E, 8th September 2014, St Jakob Park, Basle
- Switzerland away is by far the hardest test for Roy Hodgson's new look England in this qualifying group. The likes of San Marino, Estonia, Slovenia and Lithuania, who make up the numbers, don't particularly fill one with fear. In fact, as the top two teams in Group E automatically qualify and the third placed team is, at worst, guarenteed a play-off place, it would be a cataclysmic failure should England not be heading to France in 2016. It's a long road back to being amongst the best in the world and if England want to be seeded for Euro 2016 they better not mess up this golden opportunity.
The hosts on Monday had a reasonable World Cup, they qualified from their group alongside France and it was only an extra time Di Maria goal that sent Argentina through in the first knockout stage. With a World Ranking of 9 they will be tough opponents for England and we at Englandstats reckon a point from this opening fixture would be a good result. Don't go expecting miracles here; there is a reason why England are now ranked 20th in the world.
Posted: 4th September 2014 11:04am
England v Norway Preview
Friendly, 3rd Sept 2014, Wembley Stadium
- Roy Hodgson's World Cup hangover cure is not so much a sarsaparilla and tabasco wake-up mix but rather a mild Disprin fizzing effervescently in a glass of water. Welcome Norway.
It's probably a wise choice to play against such a mediocre team, currently ranked 53 in the world, who haven't really done anything of note since out-qualifying England to go to the World Cup 1994. Prior to that their most famous victory over England came in 1981 and along with it the immortal chanting of Bjorge Lillenlien "Can you hear me Maggie Thatcher? Your boys took one hell of a beating"
It would be very unlikely for a similar result to happen on Wednesday but with the mass exodus of retiring players such as Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard it does leave Hodgson's squad looking even more jejune and inexperienced than it did going into the World Cup.
Still, at least Hodgson made the right choice in selecting his new captain. Rooney's statistics towers like a Manhattan skyline in comparision to the other members of the squad.
Rooney's first task will be to lead his new team out onto the Wembley turf knowing that they better learn very quickly as the hardest away fixture of the entire Euro 16 qualifying campaign is around the corner: Monday night against Switzerland in Basle.
Posted: 3rd September 2014 10:49am
England Penalty Shoot-outs
New Section added
- We've added a new section to the website. Penalty shoot-outs.
Immerse yourself in the glory (once) and the failure (seven) of England's Penalty Shoot-outs. Relive Chris Waddle's blaze over the bar in England's first World Cup PSO against West Germany in the semi-final of the 1990 World Cup to the Pirlo chip in the more recent failure of Euro 2012 against Italy. It's all there in er... glorious detail.
England's Penalty Shoot-outs
Posted: 25th July 2014 11:19pm
England slip to 20th in the World Rankings
The worst ranking for 18 years
- Not entirely unpredicted, England have slipped to thier worst FIFA ranking since Euro 96. Dropping ten places to 20th, England are now sandwiched between Bosnia & Herzegovina in 19th and Ecuador in 21st.
The last time England were ranked so low was just before Euro '96 when Terry Venables' side hadn't played a competitive match for two years.
Germany reclaim top spot with Argentina and Netherlands the top three. Both Brazil and Spain slide to 7th and 8th respectively, with Colombia, Belgium and Uruguay leap-frogging them. Switzerland and France make up the rest of the top ten.
Chile, Greece, Costa Rica, Croatia and Mexico are other teams now ranked higher than England.
Posted: 17th July 2014 9:38am