England finish runners up to USA in group C and setup last 16 clash with old foes Germany on Sunday 27th June. They got the win which was required for them to qualify against Slovenia, thanks to a single strike from Jermain Defoe. Now that they have made it out of the group, how more far can they go?
England got the result they needed but did they perform? I think the man that out-shone everyone was the manager, Fabio Capello. He made the crucial decisions and it worked spot on for him. The vital decision of bringing in Defoe for Heskey paid off as he got the only goal of the game. Also, Aaron Lennon was replaced by James Milner in the starting line-up, and he provided the perfect ball for Defoe’s goal.
Now can England build on from here and go all the way to the final? For them to do that there is a small matter of facing the Germans next and if that was not enough, Argentina might be waiting in the quarter finals. I think England have made it harder for themselves, as they should have topped their group and that would have meant last 16 match against Ghana and Argentina a round later in the semis. But if you are going to win the biggest tournament in the world then you have to beat the best teams, and it might have to happen without Wayne Rooney as he was taken off due to ankle injury in second half.
So will they beat Germany? Will Capello stick with the same formation and players? Will Wayne Rooney be fit in time to face the Germans? We will have to wait and see, but all I can say at the moment is “Come on England”.