Currently second place in a competitive Group H, there is no guarantee that England will even be at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with over half of their qualifiers still to play.
Wins over Moldova and San Marino were simple enough, but the 1-1 draws with Ukraine and Poland were more telling—both of the difficulties presented by the opposition in this group and the challenges facing manager Roy Hodgson in the England camp.
Attempting to blood a new generation of talent that can take the national team forward in the coming years is vital, but doing so while qualifying for the World Cup requires a pragmatism that does not necessarily correspond with giving opportunities for younger players.
More senior players are still playing significant parts in Hodgson's teams, and while he will continue to attempt to bring through England's budding new stars, it is likely that many of the names flying to Brazil will have already played in an international tournament.
With over 18 months until Brazil 2014, there is time for things to change, but based on what we have seen over the year and with a nod to the information we have gathered of Hodgon's preferences, here is a prediction of how England's starting XI might look for that tournament.
While England still use 4-4-2 at times, for this team, the presumption is being made that at the World Cup, a 4-3-3 (or a somewhat flexible variation of that) will be the chosen formation.