But .......... here we are just over halfway through the group stage with most teams having played two of their three matches and the situation with the England team is dire, miserable, stultifying, alarming and weird. Something is wrong after two draws when the second against Algeria produced little skill and no goals. Surely England have never been so completely downbeat and disheartened in a competition. Rooney seems to have taken over a media theory that he was the lynchpin (kingpin) of the team and all would depend on him. Now he finds that he cannot perform as we know that he can. Other players follow suit.
No doubt there will be some kind of investigation as there is a group psychological problem with the team. Thank goodness there are no penalty shoot-outs in this group stage or there would be players running away to the dressing room to hide rather than take a penalty. It would mean trusting the feet to make contact with the ball.
(In contrast, read Cool Foot Frank - when Lampard had to re-take a penalty twice in an English Premier League match)
This Guardian piece (see link below) expresses what happened in the last match (against Algeria) as well as any that I have read in the last two days
England have to play Slovenia next, the only team in the group to have won a match - each team having played two games. A win against Slovenia is needed but can this England team shake off their fear and actually turn up to play?
Looking at the situation purely as results then England's 2 draws are matched by USA in the same group with 2 draws, plus Italy and New Zealand in their group with 2 draws each. Italy are current World Cup holders and normally do well in tournaments. To progress they are going to have to defeat Slovakia to England's Slovenia. We are in the same boat.