Watching the utter destruction of Ireland last night against Spain only served to instill fear into England fans hearts that should England somehow manage to stumble out of their group, they will meet Spain in the quarter finals stage.
That thought is bad enough when you think that Ireland are just a small step away from a carbon copy of England. The skill levels of Ireland teams was so woeful that it almost looked like a pub team playing Spain. Consider then the likelihood that Andy Carroll, now donkey-in-Chief since Heskey has departed, will be starting against Sweden. The news that has leaked from the England training camp is that Hodgson thinks that Sweden have a weakness in the air, so he will play Carroll up alongside Welbeck. The natural conclusion therefore, is that Hodgson will be adopting the tactic of the long ball up to Carroll.
How many times must they keep trying this failed and outdated tactic? It smacks of a lack of tactical ideas. Bear in mind also that the player who has had to make way is Oxlade-Chamberlain, one of the few players who showed anything positive against France. Other leaks suggest that the England management will be happy with a draw against Sweden thinking that France will beat Sweden in the last game and England will beat Ukraine. Such is the simplistic nature of hapless Hodgson's logic.
Let us assume however, that England do scrape into the next round. They will almost certainly meet Spain. Just spend a few moments and try to name any players you would put from England's squad into the Spain team. Maybe Hart and Cole. That is it. England against Spain will not fare much better than Ireland.
If this is laying the foundations for the next World Cup, then God help us.