How they view US – a scan of the UK papers

There is definitely some bulletin board material in the UK papers this morning but far far less than one would have expected just a few years ago. There is in general a mild respect for the US now in England and a recognition that we should be England’s toughest test in the group stage. In general, the British press’ instinctively dismissive view of US soccer has appeared to fade and we are now viewed more or less correctly, as a team on par with “Sweden” or an international version of “Fulham.” That’s about right and signals some significant advancement in improving America’s international reputation. One thing is clear the confederations cup was huge.

The Sun – “The Best England Group Since the Beatles” – eat that Oasis.

Terry Venables – former England manager: Similar to Sweden

“The US game will be tough because they’ll be very well organised and they’ll be fit. They won’t out-play us, but they could out-strength us, but they’ll be similar to the Sweden sides we’ve met at tournaments in the past: they’ll be solid. There won’t be too many players to out-skill us or shock us, but they’ll be strong. But we could still have hand-picked that group and been satisfied. Look at one or two of the other groups, Spain, Brazil … we’d have been saying ‘Oh dear’ if we’d got those groups.”

Martin Samuel – Daily Mail: We are Fulham.

The United States are the Fulham of international football, organised and awkward, but no more. If England cannot beat them in the opening group game on Saturday, June 12, another two years, not to mention the odd £10m, has been wasted.

Roy Hodgson – Fulham manager: “It’ll be like a Premier League game”

The US are well organised and well drilled, athletically very good and with players with a lot of experience playing in England or Germany, but that could be a like-versus-like contest… That could actually be quite good for England. It’ll be like a Premier League game, with two teams with a similar style. They’ll know how England play, but we won’t be surprised with what they’re going to come with. And I think that England have just got far too much quality for the US.”

Alan Hansen – Telegraph. No Worries…

“If you start worrying about facing the likes of USA, Algeria and Slovenia, then you really shouldn’t be in the World Cup.”

Alan Shearer – former England striker:

“I said beforehand that I don’t think we would be too worried about the United States.

Guardian – Kevin McCarra opener “packed with potential awkwardness.”

It would be absurd to suppose that Capello lives in fear of the United States, but it will still be an opener to test the nerves. History records a famous defeat for England at the 1950 World Cup and a rather less noteworthy loss in Massachusetts 16 years ago, but the real tale is the progress of American footballers since then. They lost the Confederations Cup final to Brazil, after leading 2-0, and had eliminated Spain, who lead the Fifa rankings at the moment, in the semi-final. Bob Bradley has men at his disposal who are highly experienced. By reaching the finals they extended a run that has now seen them qualify six times in a row. The names, including players such as Landon Donovan, Carlos Bocanegra and Hull City’s Jozy Altidore, are very recognisable. They are most unlikely to be discomfited by England’s style of play. England, all in all, may view their opener in Rustenburg as being packed with potential awkwardness. A clash at altitude will also reveal how effective the preparations have been. In truth, of course, the main feeling will be one of satisfaction about the overall circumstances. Should Capello’s team be in good form there will be an opportunity to get to the last sixteen without excessive stress.

Jack Charlton – England great:

“But I remember the United States knocking us out once and they will be a difficult team to beat.”

Gordon Banksformer England player:

“The USA are a good team and have a great goalkeeper in Brad Friedel. “There are still strong players that we have to beat.”

Geoff HurstFormer England player:

“The Americans really love football now and they have a good team.”


One Response

  1. “The USA are a good team and have a great goalkeeper in Brad Friedel.” – Don’t think England will have to worry about Brad, he’s retired from international football hasn’t he?!

    I think it’s a great draw for the US in terms of how much interest it will generate. I was listening to World Football Phone In last night and someone compared it to Italia 09 when England played Ireland in the first match which I thought was an interesting comparison.

    I think Hodgson is right, the match could have the feel of a PL game and I think that could work in favour for the US.

    How many days til the World Cup? 😀

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