England Links: Liverpool skipper targets 2014, Manchester United legend says England can’t win the World Cup

International breaks, eh? As soon as all our club teams had shuffled their packs at the end of the transfer window they were whisked away from us and replaced with the beginning of qualifying for FIFA World Cup 2014. While we’ve all been waiting to see the new signings in action, there’s been plenty going on in terms of England news.

The team’s captain, Steven Gerrard, has reiterated his desire to stick around in the England squad for a while yet. In midweek, he told the media that he still gets a buzz from representing England, and he wants to be a big part of their World Cup in 2014, assuming they get there. He also said England weren’t a million miles away from being able to trouble the favourites and maybe even win the trophy in 2014. Which is bonkers, naturally.

He’s wrong, and Bobby Charlton knows it. The on-field driving force of the World Cup success in 1966, Charlton has summarily written off England’s chances of winning the tournament again in 2014. He suggests that the influx of foreign players into the Premier League has done the national team no favours, which is arguably right on the money. But it’s far from the only factor.

One England star mixing it with the big foreign stars is goalkeeper Joe Hart, who has ambitious targets for his international career. He doesn’t intend to retire prematurely from international football (I’m not sure why he’d be thinking so far ahead at 25, but there it is) and wants to be England’s first choice goalkeeper for years to come. He’s not taking anything for granted, however.

1990 has become a curiously fond memory for England fans despite the heartbreak of the semi-final exit at the World Cup in Italy. In Bed With Maradona – the handsome devils that they are – posted a video of the aftermath of the final this week. You should watch it.

Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand, now a familiar figure for football fans everywhere, has secured his medium-term future at Stamford Bridge by signing a new five-year contract – £35,000 a week, if reports are to be believed. Nice work if you can get it!

Sven-Goran Eriksson is the new technical director of the Thai Premier League club BEC Tero Sasana. Sven in Bangkok working for a club known as the Fire Dragons? Why would anyone film a documentary about Wembley FC when this is happening? Nothing can possibly go wrong.

Twohundredpercent head honcho Ian King has had his say on England’s technical supplier switch from Umbro to Nike. It’s a typically blinding read, regardless of my disagreement about Umbro’s recent England output. Happy birthday, Ian!

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