Sheffield Wednesday defender Frank Simek cannot wait for the much-anticipated World Cup tie between England and his home country the United States, and claims that while the Three Lions may be favourites for the clash, he can see America pulling off a famous upset in South Africa.
Simek still believes that England should be considered amongst the strong favourites in their bid to win the World Cup for the first time in 44 years, and claims that Fabio Capello’s side are more than capable of emerging triumphant. While some England players have faced personal scrutiny in recent weeks, the Owls defender says that despite their issues off the park, America still face a difficult battle with the Three Lions in their Group C tie.
“England are looking strong at the moment,” said Simek. “They are in with a great shot and if they can perform to their strengths then they should be amongst the favourites to win. They are favourites to win our group but second place is up for grabs and we could even achieve victory in the group ourselves. Hopefully we can beat England, it would be an upset and an amazing victory but things never go as they say on paper so nothing is certain yet.”
Simek moved to London from America to pursue a football career at the age of 12, and believes that England’s strengths are vastly different to other countries as the style of football played in the English leagues is unlike any other.
“It was quite clear the first time I played for America that it was more about keeping the ball, whereas in the Championship and throughout the English leagues it is often about getting the ball forward and playing quickly. The differences are enormous. It is a much more physical and higher tempo game here, the style is more direct and the type of play here could be a strength for England because many players will not be used to it – it could prove to be a great asset.”
Simek believes that in order for England to be victorious in South Africa all their key players need to be on top form – the American seeing Wayne Rooney as the integral part of the Three Lions’ campaign. The Owls defender is also aware that football can provide great shocks, and Simek would not really be surprised whoever won the World Cup this year.
“Rooney seems to be on fire at the moment. He is in the form of his life at the moment and when he is at his best he is unplayable. If he stays on form he is a world beater. Fabio Capello has a way of bringing the best out of his sides. There are some really good players in the Premier League and if he can continue moulding them into a solid team then England are more than capable of winning. Nothing can be guaranteed in football, however, and anything can happen over the course of 90 minutes. While there are obviously certain favourites to win the competition, things rarely happen as they appear on paper, any team could go there, play a great tournament and win the whole thing. It will hopefully be a memorable World Cup.”