Why England’s strength in Self-belief means football may be coming home after all, but are they strong enough in adaptability?

Alex Adams - Brand and Marketing Consultant

“You are confident in your own abilities, knowing that you can achieve your goals”

As the build-up to the World Cup began and Dele Alli gave the almost boringly predictable ‘we’re here to win’ interview, you could pretty much hear the collective groan of a country that had heard it all before.

If the ‘Golden Generation’ couldn’t do it, then what’s so different about this lot? The general consensus is that Henderson, Dier and Delph are a touch underwhelming compared to Gerrard, Lampard and Scholes, so if they couldn’t, we’ve got no chance. And that’s exactly why actually, we may have our best chance in years.

Rather than the weight of expectation on the shoulders of the squad, it’s a group of players brimming with confidence and self-belief. Jesse Lingard and his performance yesterday epitomised the strength in Self-belief that the squad have.

If his poor display of finishing against Tunisia had been 12 years ago when a promising group of players were low on confidence – it may have affected him and his performances for the rest of the tournament.

Instead, Lingard came out against Panama and scored England’s goal of the tournament (so far) with a sublime finish from outside the area. He – and the squad as a whole – is so confident in his own ability that he was able to put the last game behind him.

Having a team strong in Self-belief is critical to success. The Spain team that won the World Cup in 2010 proved that. After losing their first game to Switzerland they didn’t let it change how they went about their football. They were confident in their abilities and that these would pay off.

So, with a squad full of Self-belief for the first time I can remember and a pessimistic nation becoming more and more optimistic, the key question is, will the squad be able to harness their strength in Adaptability as they look to face Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’?

“You juggle things to meet changing demands and find the best fit for your needs”

If Self-belief has been a stumbling block in the past, then Adaptability has certainly been another. Paul Scholes on the left wing is one of the worst footballing decisions I’ve ever seen – and I’m a Coventry City fan.

Beating Tunisia showed great character and yesterday’s result against Panama was great, but will we change things to meet the demands of a different challenge, or will we once more try and fit a square peg into a round hole?

Thursday will bring an entirely different challenge and mean that if the team is strong in Adaptability, we will change things around to fit the new demands.

So, here’s to hoping that our strength in Self-belief continues to flourish and that the new look squad can also harness a more unrealised strength in Adaptability to finally bring football home.