By Afifah Ariffin
Jan Molby, the first foreigner to spend a decade with an English club, having played at Anfield from 1984 to 1996, met Liverpool fans in Singapore at the invite of Courts.
An instrumental part of the dominant Liverpool side of the 1980s he told Goal Singapore in an exclusive interview that England would not win the World Cup.
“England is in a dangerous opposition,” he warns. “There’re no expectations but they have a clever coach, he’s conservative, but he’s a clever coach, and they have some good players.”
Roy Hodgson has brought a relatively young squad to Brazil this year, and his choice of 23 has not been without skepticism. Against Italy on Sunday, Hodgson opted to start teenager Raheem Sterling but kept a misfiring Wayne Rooney and struggling Steven Gerrard on the field until the final whistle.
Molby, however, feels that with the right roll of dice, England could reach the final-four but felt that anything further would be too much of a stretch.
“It’s a fresh squad and it surprised a lot of people,” Molby explained. “But I think they’ll get out of the group, and if you look at the people they can potentially play, with a little bit of luck, England could be in the semi-finals. You won’t want to play England in the semi-finals because like I said, they’ll be dangerous because they’re that close to winning."
“But at the moment they’re not one of the teams that will win the World Cup, that’s for sure."
The former Danish international who has 33 caps to his name. also spoke about the younger Liverpool players featuring in Brazil, and he tipped Jordan Henderson as a player who could make a difference. Raheem Sterling, who was England's brightest player in the opening round defeat to Italy, is another that Molby feels should retain a starting spot.
“Jordan Henderson is well-suited to the way England plays, and he’s had a really good season,” Molby said. “The fact that he will play alongside Gerard, there’ll be nothing new will there? It’ll be as he is used to every week. I think that will be useful.”
“Yeah, I do [think that Sterling should start]. He’s had an incredible season, one that many people didn’t think he was capable of, so I don’t see a reason why he would continue his form.
“If I was the manager of England then I’d be a bit more careful, but as a neutral, yeah! Play them all! Give yourself the best chance of winning. He’ll get his chances, Raheem Sterling, that’s for sure.”