The former Three Lions midfielder doesn't expect his country to challenge for the title in Brazil, but instead wants Roy Hodgson's side to play an attractive brand of soccer.
The Three Lions were drawn into Group D in the 2014 World Cup, alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. McManaman, currently an analyst for ESPN, thinks passage through the group is attainable.
"I think it's difficult enough but I don't think it's the most difficult group, I really don't," McManaman told Goal. "I think we know a lot about Italy, Uruguay are a good team of course and the fact that it's in South America will help them, but they struggled to qualify."
La Celeste finished fifth in South American qualifying, reaching Brazil via a 5-0 aggregate playoff win over Jordan. Italy and Costa Rica qualified more comfortably, finishing first and second, respectively, in their groups.
England has failed to impress at recent international tournaments. In the 2010 World Cup, it advanced through a weak group in second place behind the USA, before falling 4-1 to Germany in the round of 16. In the 2012 Euros, the Three Lions topped their group but exited after a shootout loss to Italy.
"I don't expect England to win the World Cup of course but I just want them to go out fighting," McManaman said. "I don't want them to go out the way they have in the last couple of tournaments. In South Africa they were poor and even in the Euros they were poor performances even though we got to the knockout phases.
"The way that they qualified eventually against Ukraine and Poland, they played really well but they played with an attack-minded team, they had wingers out there and they had three forwards and we made chances. We looked vulnerable at times but we scored lots of goals. That's the way I want them to play."