Rio Ferdinand: England will benefit from realistic expections
With Roy Hodgson set to announce his World Cup squad on Monday, Rio Ferdinand believes that the current squad will have a better chance of coping with the World Cup given the more realistic expectations.
The Manchester United defender believes that for all the talk of doom and gloom, the younger generation who are set to take the plane to Brazil will have a better chance of expressing themselves.
The former England defender, who called time on his international career last year, will be in Brazil as a BBC Pundit. Ferdinand said “This is why it is an exciting World Cup. The expectations are more realistic. We have a group of young players and the expectations are not high and crazy. It allows individuals to breath a bit more and maybe express themselves more. We have an eye on the next tournament. This tournament with the players we have, we cannot expect to win. Quarter-finals for this young bunch of players would be a good step.”
The squad of players flying to Brazil might just be the youngest ever England team at the World Cup. Ferdinand believes that without the unrealistic expectations that surrounded the “golden generation” the current crop might just be able to play without fear and express themselves without being burdened by high expectations.
About the tag of being called the “golden generation”, Ferdinand said “It upped the expectations because people called us the Golden Generation and people expected us to win silverware. We had the players capable, but never set up in the right way. [It was a] combination of things. The system was not right. I don’t think we played with freedom in an England shirt. We were trying to stop teams all the time.”
With Hodgson keen to put emphasis on Euro 2016, rather than the World Cup, youngsters such as Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana will be keen to impress.
“If you can see a progression with these young guys – and see they have another four to eight years – you can start to increase expectations,” said Ferdinand. “We have always been disappointing in terms of living up to the expectations. Hopefully, we can play with no fear and enjoy it. Maybe we can see glimpses of the future.”