FIFA World Cups are a fantastic opportunity for young soccer players to showcase their skills, but the fear is that it can lead to an even bigger and more exciting game.
For England, that fear was palpable in their second-round encounter with Argentina on Tuesday night.
“It was a little bit of a shock to see the game because we were on the same plane as them and there were only three or four other teams on the plane and they have been in the World Cup for so long,” said the 25-year-old striker Tom Carroll.
Carroll, who had only been at the club since last year, had scored the first goal of his career to open the scoring in the second half, with James Tomkins adding a second in the 77th minute.
But Argentina were quickly back in the game, with a penalty appeal given and the ball going to an unmarked Tomkins, who slotted the ball past the goalkeeper.
It was the fourth time this season that England have lost at the World Series, with the loss in the quarter-finals the most recent setback.
However, Carroll believes England have the players to bounce back.
“[It’s] been a long time since we’ve been in a World Cup and we are in a good position,” he said.
After their first-round win against Italy, England will now travel to the host nation of Paraguay for the quarterfinals.
The players are still a long way away from returning to training and playing matches, with England’s preparations already underway for next month’s Confederations Cup.
Watch the full game on Sky Sports Premier League tonight from 10pm.