World Cup 2014: 4 Keys to Success for England in Brazil
Though they are no longer viewed as an elite team like they were in past World Cups, England still dream of a title in Brazil, just as any other nation would.
For that to happen, though, they will need to be on top form, and things that are out of their hands will also need to work out in their favor.
If the following things happen for England, a deep run in the tournament will not be impossible in the slightest.
A Favorable Draw
One thing England will be hoping goes their way, which they have no control over, is the World Cup draw.
As they are not in the first pot with seeded teams such as Germany and Spain, England will need some luck in being placed in a group that they will be able to escape from.
As B/R's Tim Daniels notes, they could be placed with Switzerland, Cameroon and Australia, a group they'd be expected to at least come in second in, or with Brazil, Portugal and the United States, where a last-place finish wouldn't be that implausible.
Though most Three Lions fanatics will pray for them to be in a favorable group, England are a side who often play down to lower opponents, as The Telegraph's Ben Rumsby notes that a Group of Death drawing could actually bode well for them:
The nightmare draw would be Brazil, France and United States, with the dream scenario probably a combination of Switzerland, Algeria and Honduras. England do have a history, however, of struggling to get out of easy groups and thriving in what appear slightly tougher ones.
England will be hoping for an easy group, but perhaps it'd be a more challenging one that would make them play their best football.
To be on the top of their game, England will need to be at full health, which they are not right now.
Leighton Baines and Daniel Sturridge are both set to miss an extended period of time, and though there is no real threat of them missing the World Cup, Roy Hodgson will be hoping that there will be no long-term effects of their current knocks.
If Hodgson needs to rest these players to keep them healthy then he should do it; they are needed at full strength far more in the World Cup than in friendlies leading up to it.
Once an area of pride for England with studs such as Peter Shilton and Gordon Banks, England fans cannot name any recent goalies who have matched up to their status.
With David "Calamity" James, David Seaman and Robert Green all contributing to years of goalkeeping blunders and hardships, Joe Hart's recent drop in form has caused many to worry.
When playing well, as he usually has for England and Manchester City, Hart is undoubtedly a world-class goalie, proving to be extremely capable in the 2012 European Championships.
With a resurgent performance against Germany, doubts about Hart's ability have been somewhat quelled, and he looks to be England's goalie this summer barring another poor run of form.
A strong showing from Hart this summer will give England an advantage they haven't had in years and could make them a force to be reckoned with.
Playing Attacking Football
Probably the most important key to England's success in the World Cup will be playing to their strength of attacking football.
Often, Roy Hodgson has been criticized for playing too defensively and conservatively, as they settled for draws with Ukraine, Montenegro and Poland in World Cup Qualifying.
Differing from the prototypical English squad, Roy Hodgson's team is far more adept in attacking, boasting electric wingers Andros Townsend and Theo Walcott, as well as goalscorers Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge.
England finally strayed from their conservative style of play in their last two qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland, looking extremely potent going forward and booking a trip to Brazil in the process.
If Hodgson learned anything from the 13 months of qualifying, it should be that his team is best when in an attacking formation, which he needs to employ if England are to have any shot of World Cup glory.
Information from FIFA.com was used in this article.