Thursday, June 11, 2009

England and the Burden of Expectation

With Wednesday's 6-0 win over Andorra, England move to within one win of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. Even though the Three Lions failed to advance to last year's Euros, the 7-0-0 start under Fabio Capello has been heralded as a preview of greater success next summer. And that's where the problems start for England.

Here's a quick rundown of major tournaments held outside of England where the national side has advanced to the Final.

And we're done. And yet at the slightest sign of progress, the natives act as if it's 1966 all over again. Here come the headlines and with it the high hopes of a title-starved nation. In previous tournaments, lofty expectations have been more of a burden than a catalyst for England. With each victory, more is expected of Fabio and his troops. With qualification all but assured, a stumble might benefit the greater cause.

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