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England fans are notoriously dour and hard on their team. This time, they’ve got good reason.

The Three Lions weren’t exactly inspiring in qualifying. Sure, there were thrashings of Moldova and San Marino. But England also tied Montenegro and needed a late goal against Poland just to get to Brazil. Comparing its defense to a sieve isn’t much of a stretch and, no, bringing John Terry back isn’t the answer. A matured Wayne Rooney might be at his best yet, but his supporting cast is weak.

As for goalkeeper, what’s that about if you can’t say something nice?

Then came the draw, where England landed in Group D with 2010 semifinalist Uruguay and 2006 champion Italy, with a game in the one place they desperately wanted to avoid, the jungle city of Manaus.

“There were not going to be many scenarios where we were going to be jumping for joy,” manager Roy Hodgson said.



Hodgson caused an uproar when he said he hoped his team could avoid Manaus, with the mayor of the jungle city responding that he didn’t want the English, anyway. But the English aren’t the only ones not thrilled with their tropical destinations.

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said he’s even considering switching his team’s training camp, which was to be near Sao Paolo, after the Swiss drew games in Manaus and Salvador. The average June temperature in Salvador is 83 degrees, with 10 inches of rainfall.

“We must adapt to the climatic conditions,” Hitzfeld said.

Even the African teams are nervous about the effects of the heat and humidity, with most of their players coming to the World Cup from their club teams in Europe.

“It’s very, very hot and the climate maybe is difficult,” Cameroon coach Volker Finke said.


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