Top Five Reasons England Will Win the 2022 World Cup

Harry Kane of England celebrates after scoring his sides second goal, putting England 2-1 ahead - England v Croatia , UEFA Nations League - Group A4, Wembley Stadium, London - 18th November 2018

Rewind to July 2021. Not that long ago. England lose the Euro 2020 final to Italy, breaking their fans’ hearts but still sending them off with high expectations for the 2022 World Cup after an inspiring campaign. Fast forward to October 2022. It seems like the entire atmosphere has changed since that dramatic penalty shootout loss at Wembley.

The Three Lions have now gone six games without a win. They finished bottom of their Nations League group, relegating them to League B. And the bad run included two losses to Hungary, one of them an embarrassing 0-4 home defeat in June 2022, just five months before the World Cup. Gareth Southgate is under huge criticism, and the atmosphere around the team is closer to that of the 2000s than of the past four years. So why are we even writing this article? Because hope is essential to being a football fan, and despite everything England has a lot to cling to. Or at least five reasons. 

5. Southgate, you’re the one

Going into the 2018 World Cup Gareth Southgate brought positive change after a bad run of managers, starting with Fabio Cappello and ending with a disgraceful Sam Allardyce tenure. Southgate’s calm, respectful leadership was what England needed, and the results followed. In Russia, England reached their first World Cup semi-final after 28 years and followed up three years later with a second-place finish in the Euros.

Throughout the period, fans and pundits questioned whether the Three Lions achieved these heights due to Southgate or despite his management. His squad selections and starting lineups were criticized. Another popular claim was that most of England’s wins weren’t against tough opposition. All are legitimate points for discussion, but there are very strong arguments in favor of Southgate. The former Aston Villa defender is praised as an empathetic leader, showcasing honesty and high levels of emotional intelligence. His win rate is second-highest among all England managers ever, with 64%, 3% shy of Cappello. Southgate may have reached his peak and might not take England any further. But he also gave fans good reasons to believe he’s actually the one – and maybe he still is. 

4. The draw 

Luck is a huge factor in winning tournaments. In 2006, Italy’s first really strong opponent was Germany in the semi-finals, having reached that stage after playing against Ghana, the Czech Republic, the USA, Australia, and Ukraine. After they lifted the trophy, no one held it against them. Brazil also had it pretty easy en route to glory in 2002. In Qatar, there is no excuse for England not to finish first in their group, ahead of Wales, the USA, and Iran. This should summon an encounter with the team that finishes second in Group A, in which one out of Senegal, Ecuador, or the host nation is expected to finish as runners-up to the Netherlands. There’s not a bad chance they’ll meet France in the quarter-finals, but by that point the Three Lions should be able to gather confidence and momentum. Also, based on France’s recent performances, they might not be as scary as they look. 

3. The depth

According to Transfermarkt, England’s squad has the highest market value out of all participating teams. Whereas it’s not a definite indicator, it does mean something. England came to big tournaments with a talented squad in the past, but it feels now that the number of players who are the best in their position is the biggest in modern history. Gareth Southgate is definitely losing sleep about filling the right-back position, having to choose between Trent Alexander-Arnold, despite his drop in form, Kyle Walker (if he’s fit), Kieran Trippier, and Reece James. Up front, Harry Kane will lead an attacking unit with Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Phil Foden, and Jack Grealish all fighting for their share of minutes. 

Things are also looking solid in midfield, with a good balance of experience coming from Jordan Henderson alongside the young Mason Mount, Declan Rice, and one of the world’s biggest prospects, Jude Bellingham. 

2. Harry Kane  

True, he was already mentioned in this article, but he deserves a clause for himself. Just like his manager, Kane is a quiet leader who is loved and respected by his teammates. Jordan Henderson, a player who knows a thing or two about captaining winning teams, praised his Kane for being “… a better captain (than him).” Despite his low-key personality, on the pitch, he’s a machine. You’d struggle to find strikers who’ve kept their form as good as Kane’s and provided the goals and assists regularly over such a long period. 

Undeterred by big occasions, the skipper won the Golden Boot at Russia 2018 and scored four important knockout goals en route to the Euro 2020 final. The Spurs striker is chasing records – he’s soon to become England’s all-time goalscorer and has Alan Shearer’s all-time Premier League goal record also in sight. Absurdly, his personal stats and achievements stand in front of an empty trophy cabinet. Kane can’t go down in history without winning silverware so this might be his best shot at it. God knows he has a smaller chance to do it at Spurs. 

1. The experience –

More than 10 players who took part in the fourth-place campaign in 2018 are projected to take part in the 2022 World Cup. This group knows what it’s like to be at those levels. Rashford, Saka, and Sancho may have been traumatized after missing their penalties in the Euro 2020 Final shootout, but it’s likely that they’ve also learned and grown. The Three Lions have gradually improved, reaching the semi-final in Russia and the final last year. Now it’s time for them to make one more step forward and finally bring it home after 56 years.

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