Shades of Italia ’90

England’s 2010 World Cup bid has hardly got going yet, but fans are likening it to the 1990 tournament in Italy.

Fabio Capello’s men have stuttered to two points in two group games, just┬álike 20 years ago, and they have also drawn by the same scorelines. Bobby Robson’s men drew 1-1 with the Republic of Ireland and then were held to a 0-0 draw by Holland back in 1990 – matching the games against the USA and Algeria in South Africa.

England then needed to beat Egypt in their final group clash to make sure of a place in the second round and Mark Wright’s header sealed a 1-0 win. It’s the same situation 20 years on with Fabio Capello’s charges needing to beat Slovenia in Group C on Wednesday to make sure of a place in the last 16.

The similarities between the two tournaments are amazing with reports of unrest in the Rustenburg camp emerging just as they did in Italia ’90. England though regrouped under Bobby Robson when a group of senior players approached Robson about changing the team’s tactics.

It certainly worked 20 years ago as Belgium and Cameroon were beaten in the knock-out phase en route to semi-final with Germany.

When it came to World Cup betting England were the underdogs against Franz Beckenbauer’s Germany and were more than a match for the eventual winners with England losing 4-3 in the penalty shoot-out.

It is the closest the Three Lions have come to glory since 1966, but a repeat of that display looks a long way away at the moment. When it comes to World Cup Betting Spain, Italy, England and France have all been disappointing though so perhaps at least one of them will pick up?
Reports of unrest in the England camp have surfaced in South Africa with fans and players keen to see them play Steven Gerrard in a supporting role for Wayne Rooney. Whether Gerrard and co will go knocking on Capello’s door remains to be seen but England’s rigid 4-4-2 formation has to go for the do-or-die date with Slovenia.

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