England back to 20th in World rankings

  • Beating limited quality opposition reaps too few ranking points

  • England will slip back to twentieth in FIFA's World Rankings when they are published on 23rd October. San Marino and Estonia represented too few ranking points and therefore the Three Lions will be leapfrogged by Ukraine, Croatia and Algeria.
    There is little Roy Hodgson and his charges can do to stop England sliding even further during November as the two games scheduled are against Slovenia and Scotland, the latter being a friendly match. Once more, very few points available.
    It could be highly conceivable for England to waltz through their group with the best record of any team in the qualifying competition despite not being in the top twenty in the world and the top ten in UEFA. The price for such an easy group.
  •   Posted: 16th October 2014 1:17pm

England v Estonia Preview

  • Euro 2016 Qualifying Group E, 12th October 2014, A le Coq Arena, Tallin

  • Two games, six points, seven goals. Surely by the end of Sunday afternoon it will be three games and nine points. Estonia, ranked 81st in the world, will put up a better fight than that of San Marino but England should be very confident of coming away with a comfortable victory.
    The only previous meetings between the two sides was during qualfying for Euro 2008 and both games ended in 3-0 victories for Steve McClaren. Sadly, his team failed to qualify for that tournement. Roy Hodgson won't be losing too much sleep about that.
  •   Posted: 12th October 2014 12:08pm

England v San Marino Preview

  • Euro 2016 Qualifying Group E, 9th October 2014, Wembley Stadium, London

  • Like freshly prepared, washed and lightly salted Christians, San Marino come to the Lions den on Thursday night for their Euro 2016 qualifying game against England. Ranked dead last in FIFA’s ranking table along with Bhutan, the enclave state of San Marino finds itself once again making up the numbers in European qualifying. And my do they rack up the numbers!.
    Total record to date: won 1, drawn 3, lost 119. Goals for 20, goals against 531. Last time out against England they lost 5-0 and 8-0 during qualifying for the 2014 World Cup but in the first round of qualifying for Euro 16 they only managed to ship two goals to Lithuania.
    Three points to England. It’s just down to how many goals they feel they can score.
  •   Posted: 7th October 2014 1:38pm

England likely to slip out of top twenty

  • Quality of opponents not good enough to arrest slide

  • England are likely to slip out of the top twenty of the world rankings when they are announced in October. Convincing victories against minnows San Marino and just-slightly-larger-than-minnows Estonia will have no bearing on the news that England will most definately drop back to twentieth place or worse.
    Despite a perfect start to the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with victory in Switzerland, England's next two opponents are currently ranked 208th and 81st respectively meaning that England can only muster a maximum of 919 ranking points for October, down 16 points from September.
    With only a home game against Slovenia and an away friendly against Scotland to come this year, and just one game scheduled in the first five months of 2015 it could be a long cold winter for Roy Hodgson's team.
  •   Posted: 23rd September 2014 10:43am

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