As things hot up in the race to get on the plane to Brazil next year, and fans, journalists and pundits alike get their knickers in a twist about what might happen at the World Cup, there are bound to be a few who look back, in an attempt to look forward. Over the next few months, as we get closer and closer to the big event, expect a mind numbing amount of predictions from seers, experts, octopuses and what not. But of course, not all seers, experts, and even octopuses always get their calls right, and this occasionally makes for a good laugh, all with the power of retrospect of course.
In a similar vein, we decided to have a look back, and see what the past said about the future. Have a look at The Daily Mail’s prediction for the future England National Team made back in 2007. We aren’t really big fans of the publication, like so many across the internet, which is why we take time to reflect some of their crass and reactionary stories, all with a healthy dose of schadenfreude.
Of course, the (primary) objective of this article isn’t to sit down and laugh at a journalist doing his job. Taking a look at the team of the future, and where they finally ended up is what we’re here for. It would be fair to say that not all of them have been as wildly successful as initially predicted.
Almost all of us are quite familiar with Ben Amos. The young Englishman has been at Manchester United since forever it seems, and has been a handy third choice for the champions. While his appearances for the Red Devils have been very rare, the keeper has enjoyed several loan spells, including one with Molde. Not all has been quite rosy on those loan spells too, as he was the keeper when Oldham Athletic were on the wrong end of a 6-0 score against Southampton back in January 2011, with current cream of the crop, Adam Lallana scoring a goal that went under his body.
This was a career that was sadly ruined by injury. Sam Hutchinson is a product of the Chelsea youth academy, and went on to make his debut with the senior team at the age of just 18. There was interest in him from a number of clubs at that point, and Ian Holloway was the most vocal of those courting him. The youngster however, chose to stay at the Bridge. In a cruel twist of events after that, he suffered a number of injuries to his knee, and eventually retired in 2010. Encouragingly, he made a comeback in 2011, even seeing some Premier League action against QPR in 2012. After staying at Forest for a while, an injury to his knee stopped him again. The player is currently on loan at Vitesse.
The City man is another with tremendous potential, and one who might still just go to Brazil, in case there is a miracle. The player was a prodigious talent when he first broke through at City, and caught the eye with some excellent performances for the Citizens, including a Man of the Match performance in their victory over United in 2007-08. He even won Player of the Month in August that season, and it looked like he was on course to having a long and successful career. Even for England, the defender made his debut in 2006, becoming the youngest ever defender to earn a cap in the process. He made 11 appearances under McClaren, scoring at home against Israel. However, he lost his place in the City side to Zabaleta in 2012, and since then, he’s had very few chances, both for club and country. Hodgson chose Phil Jones over him for the right back slot for the Euros, and the defender now faces an uphill battle to get back into contention for England, especially with all the competition there.