Southend United manager Phil Brown's World Cup column

Phil Brown - cannot wait for the World Cup to get started

Phil Brown - cannot wait for the World Cup to get started

First published in Sport by

I CANNOT wait for the World Cup to get under way today but bizarrely it wasn’t the England friendlies that whet my whistle for the tournament, it was the SoccerAid match on Sunday.

I obviously watched the England warm up games and they didn’t really get my blood boiling.

They were probably a little bit boring if we’re being honest but the England against the Rest of the World game at Old Trafford was great.

I think taking on the rest of the world is what we’re all about because everyone else seems to hate us!

That was kind of shown in the charity game with the battles that were going on against Edgar Davids and I have to admit I found it quite entertaining and exciting.

I’m really looking forward to the World Cup games now and I think it’s going to be a very interesting tournament indeed.

YOUTHFULNESS OF OUR SQUAD EXCITES ME

I HAVE to admit to being quite excited by the youthfulness of the squad Roy Hodgson has selected for the World Cup.

There are some very talented youngsters in the squad and now it’s going to come down to whether or not Roy is brave and bold enough to blood them in the games.

I have been particularly excited by Ross Barkley’s performances and think he could enjoy a successful World Cup.

I’m also a fan of Raheem Sterling and think Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw are also great players so I hope they get an opportunity to show what they can do.

I also fancy us to do quite well. I think we might surprise a few people and I’m tipping us as outsiders to reach the quarter-finals or maybe the final four.

Whatever anyone says, Wayne Rooney will be an important part in that happening too.

He may not be prolific and I’m not sure he’s the focal point of our attack anymore but I definitely think he has to play.

I HAVE GOT FEELING THE BELGIANS WILL DO WELL

EVERYONE seems to be tipping the South American sides to do well in the conditions in Brazil but every time I listen to somebody out there it seems to be raining!

I would expect both Brazil and Argentina to make the semi-finals and I’m sure Spain will adjust well to playing out there too.

You can’t write off Germany and I’m sure England could surprise a few people.

But I also have a sneaky feeling for Belgium.

I think they have 12 Premier League players in their squad and I’m certainly backing them to do well in Brazil.

RAHEEM STERLING IS AN IMPRESSIVE YOUNG MAN

I HAVEN’T actually worked with any members of the current England squad but I did get to interview Raheem Sterling when I was out of the game and working for the media.

I was very impressed by him too, he was a real steady Eddie type of character and I’m not surprised that he gone on to do so well.

I have worked with England players in the past and was interested to read the other day that I coached seven players who have been labelled one cap wonders.

Kevin Davies leads them but I also worked with the likes of Alan Thompson, Michael Ricketts – who of course also went on to play for Southend – and Seth Johnson.

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