World Cup 2014: England expects - what always happens to the Three Lions at World Cups

 

They will choose the wrong hotel

From the Luxor – right on the Copacabana, which had far too many distractions for England's first World Cup squad – to the stultifying dreariness of the Royal Bafokeng in Rustenburg, England have seldom been much good at picking hotels. The Guadalajara Hilton in 1970 was over-run by Brazilian fans. The Valle de Mexico in 1986 had no flushing lavatories while Baden Baden became a WAG circus. Fabio Capello even suggested his players should combat boredom in Rustenburg by "reading books".

They always rely on injured players

Kevin Keegan and Trevor Brooking were unfit in 1982. Bryan Robson's attempt to nurse his injured shoulder through Mexico lasted one game. David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen were also unfit. Jack Wilshire continues the trend with Roy Hodgson's squad.

They will go out on penalties

The nation most affected by World Cup shoot-outs is Italy. However, no nation has been more traumatised by deciding a game from 12 yards than England. Of their last nine major tournaments, six have ended in a bungled penalty shoot-out. Perhaps the worst was in Gelsenkirchen in 2006 when Jamie Carragher was sent on specifically to take a penalty on the grounds he had been involved in Liverpool triumphant shoot-out with Milan in the European Cup final. Except he hadn't and he missed.

They carry no luck

Any fortune England carried was used up with the Russian linesman. Since Geoff Hurst's shot was judged to have crossed the line, England have suffered Gordon Banks going down with stomach upset just before they faced West Germany; Diego Maradona's Hand of God; Sol Campbell's disallowed "winner" against Argentina in St Etienne, and Frank Lampard's shot that went a yard over Manuel Neuer's line in Bloemfontein.

They play badly against bad teams

When England travel to Belo Horizonte to face Costa Rica, all the talk will be of Joe Gaetjens's winner for the United States 64 years ago. It set a pattern that has continued to England's dreadful goalless draw against Algeria in Cape Town in 2010. The worse the opposition, the worse the performance. England have played eight games against genuine minnows in World Cup finals – USA, Bulgaria (who deserved that epithet in 1962), Kuwait, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Trinidad & Tobago and Algeria. Although they have only lost to the United States, 720 minutes of football have produced a grand total of six goals and three goalless draws.

They will start badly

In 13 World Cup finals, England have only won the opening game five times and the 1-0 win over Paraguay in 2006 was bad as anything England produced in Germany. The draws have felt like defeats. Robert Green's error against the United States set the tone for an even worse campaign in South Africa. In 1954 England threw away a 3-1 lead against Belgium to draw 4-4. They were booed off at Wembley after a goalless stalemate with Uruguay in 1966.

The Boss's job is always safe

Before anyone writes that Roy Hodgson will be fired the moment the squad returns to Luton Airport, it is worth remembering that England have never sacked their manager after a World Cup. Even Capello limped on after Bloemfontein. The three managers who have left immediately after – Ron Greenwood, Bobby Robson and Sven Goran Eriksson – had either announced their retirement or been told their contract would not be renewed before the finals.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments