England World Cup Chances Mocked by Denmark Boss Morten Olsen

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2014

England's Daniel Sturridge, right, celebrates his goal against Denmark, with teammate Steven Gerrard, during the international friendly soccer match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Sang Tan/Associated Press

Denmark coach Morten Olsen gave a stinging appraisal of England's chances in the forthcoming World Cup finals, after his team was narrowly beaten by them at Wembley.

Sami Mokbel of The Mail Online quoted Olsen at the post-match press conference saying:

Good luck in the World Cup... you'll need it. I think that England have a young team with a lot of quickness. It's promising for the future, but if it's enough for the World Cup? I think we would have won if Christian Eriksen was playing tonight.

England beat Denmark on the night 1-0, with a late looping header from Liverpool's goal machine Daniel Sturridge. Despite having a relatively quiet night, the player managed to save his country and add to his remarkable Premier League record.

This year he has 18 goals from 20 domestic league games, per Squawka.

Mokbel also writes that Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson immediately retorted after Olsen's comments saying, "I don't care about that. Every team will need good luck. We didn't need it tonight, that's for sure."

The game's true bright spark came from the involvement and performances of Southampton's wonderkid Luke Shaw and club captain Adam Lallana.

Stan Collymore tweeted his praise after the match:

One thing this match highlighted was that England are still very much behind the big favourites for the finals in Brazil. It was excellent to see a blend of youthful and skillful talent alongside the likes of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, but it was evident that Hodgson has a lot of work to do to make them truly competitive.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05:  Luke Shaw of England takes a throw in during the International Friendly match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium on March 5, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

This World Cup has probably come too soon for the likes of Shaw, who will struggle to make the plane ahead of Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines, but it shows that the international team's future is not completely immersed in doom and gloom.

Sturridge's ability to score even when he is not playing at his best will be vital to Hodgson in the summer. He has proved this season that he could jump a class bracket in Brazil, and be considered a world-class striker by the time the next Premier League season commences. 

England's only objective should be to get out of what is a difficult World Cup group on paper. Uruguay and Italy will be considered fierce competitors to progress, but neither will fancy the challenge of playing the Three Lions at a major tournament.

Hodgson can use this to his advantage and sneak qualification. If he does that, anything can then happen in the knockout phase.