World Cup failures Spain and England could’ve benefited from West Ham

Image for World Cup failures Spain and England could’ve benefited from West Ham

2014 World CupTo the shock and dismay of many, Spain and England have become the first two teams dumped out of the World Cup. England will take with them the mild – and I do mean mild – consolation that they lost each game by but one goal, and scored in each game—something that Spain will envy them for – but it’s terribly disappointing for both countries.

As West Ham fans, we’re more or less used to disappointment. Fortune truly is always hiding from us, but would it have made a difference to the fortunes of either of the two teams had they brought some Hammers along with them for their brief World Cup ride?

Whilst the pain that fell mainly in Spain was because of an ageing squad who struggled to muster a fight, the majority of lethal errors were courtesy of Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas. He has had an outstanding career, but this was his worst goalkeeping display in memory— and now youth must begin to trickle into the Spanish side. In future, that must include West Ham’s outstanding Spanish keeper Adrian—who has never been called up to represent Spain. Spain have three world-class keepers in their squad – Casillas, Pepe Reina, and David De Gea, but after the season Adrian has had, he must be a contender to get into the Spain squad. Would he have done better than Casillas in this World Cup? Optimistically, he may have, but if De Gea and Reina couldn’t get on the pitch after the Holland game, Adrian would not have stood a chance at getting out there, either.

Regarding England, the most likely players to have headed to South America from the Hammers were James Tomkins, Mark Noble, and our striker who did indeed make the reserves list, Andy Carroll. The Tomkins argument is almost a non-starter; whilst England were at their weakest in defence, and Tomkins has had an excellent season at West Ham, this is the first year he’s not made a fatal error in most games (except for that awkward Wayne Rooney thing, of course.) He is not consistent enough for me to be in the England squad at this time—although having said that, the last time Luis Suarez played against Tomkins, Suarez sure as heck didn’t score.

In the middle of the pitch, England desperately needed a player to boss the midfield, and for me, that player could have been Mark Noble. The man was wonderful for England at youth level, and yet has not featured in a senior England game. Surely it’s worth giving him a chance? His pass completion record is strong, and one of the areas in which England were woefully lacking against Uruguay was their passing.

Andy Carroll was almost there, but just missed out on a place in the squad. He’s had a tough season for West Ham and is certainly not at his fittest to be playing for England. But would I have liked to have him come on at the end against Uruguay? Absolutely. Carroll brings a strength to the game that was lacking, and is adept at holding up the ball and playing it off to others for them to fire the ball into the net.

Of course, it’s easy to sit here and say what our players could have achieved whilst other clubs will have fingers of blame firmly pointed in their directions, but truthfully, the outcomes of England and Spain’s group games may not have been altered drastically had more West Ham players been on board.

Sure, it’s possible that the World Cup could have been different, but England and Spain put forward what their managers believed was the strongest team available, and the ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ don’t change the fact that both countries just weren’t up for it. The only things that can change for the eliminated teams is how they move forward in the future. West Ham have supplied some wonderful internationals in the past, and it is my great hope that some day in the future they are able to send their stars off to the World Cup again—and perhaps then the results will be different.

Do you think the fortunes of the knocked out clubs could have been altered with more West Ham options available to them—or would they have seen the same results regardless? Let us know below.

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  • Kevin says:

    I think it would most definitely have made a difference .. Those 2 – 1 defeats could easily have been drawn games ( maybe even wins ) if England had a player or two that could come off the bench and surprise the opposition . England had nobody to threaten the defence of either Uraguay or Italy . England was screaming out for a Big , Strong player in the penalty area to meet all those high balls from crosses and corners ,,, Andy Carroll is that player who should ( in my view ) have been there ,, even not fully fit he would have caused serious problems for defences .
    Exactly why ! Chamberlain wasn’t replaced by Carroll is a mystery to me . Hodgson had the perfect excuse to evoke the 24hr rule , but didn’t use it .. Only he knows why !! Ask him ..
    Tomkins could have done no worse than a Flat footed Cahill ,, in fact he would have been better .
    Mark Noble must be feeling like he has been left out in the cold ,, just why he wasn’t considered is something we need to ask Hodgson about .. Henderson instead of Noble makes absolutely no sense … Dynamic player with vision and high pass success rate and always looking to go forward… If Hodgson hadn’t learnt something now ,, he never will .

  • Northern Sold says:

    Noble is nowhere good enough for England. He sometimes, I repeat, sometimes, looks a fairly good player for West Ham but you must remember that we are pretty crap. If Noble was any good then a top side would have taken him years ago and no-one has an answer to that (That’s a challenge to you Noble lovers!). I really cannot see why he is held in such high regard by some – desperation perhaps? He could yet play for England on the basis that other crap players have been picked in the past. However, he is not international standard.

    • Neil T says:

      Mate , obviously another jealous Pratt of West Hams envious success in the World Cup

      Challenge that son !

      • Northern Sold says:

        Neil – you’ve had a shocker here. read it all again and you clearly see that you a the pratt.

  • Kevin says:

    Ok , fine , Northern Sold .. But , who did you see in England’s side in Brazil that is Better ?.
    Surely , you don’t mean Henderson is better !., Noble was a success in the U21’s , the problem is that he doesn’t play in a top premier team like , Liverpool , Man Utd , or Arsenal . .. None of whom have provided a great player for these WC Finals .
    Nobody has seriously come in for Gerrard either ., and on his recent showings nobody will .
    Noble should be given his chance , no doubt …. I didn’t many England players demonstrating much class at this World Cup .

  • Ian says:

    Tomkins conceded a penalty from Suarez flick on last time they played so its as good as scoring against us . I have to agree with Northern Sold , Noble is not good enough , lots of effort but can’t dribble like say , Ross Barkley , and rarely scores . His free kicks were awful last season too . I think alot of the blame for England’s failure lies with Hodgson , who I feel tried to emulate Liverpools tactics of scoring more than the opposition,but without a Suarez. We had the less leathal Sturridge instead who was dreadful in front of goal against Uruguay , our defence was horribly exposed ( in both games)due to these tactics and because we didn’t score more than the opposition , we lost . Hodgson should’ve seen the threat and given baines some protection but he didn’t do anything .

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