England would seem to have their best chance of winning the World Cup in South Africa than for many years as the year ends in a zero. Since their first entry into the World Cup in 1950 (when they were knocked out in the group stage) they have reached the quarter-finals in 1970 (losing to West Germany) and the semi-finals in Italy in 1990 (losing also to Germany). A final place beckons by this sequence!
When the year ends in two England have reached the quarter-final stage on all three occasions - in 1962, 1982 and 2002 (indeed in Spain in 1982 when there was a second league stage rather than a quarter final, England did not lose a game). When the year ends in a six England have been winners (1966) and quarter-finalists (1986, 2006) on two occasions. When the year ends in an eight England’s performance has been more mixed, failing to qualify in 1978 and failing at the group stage in 1958 and losing at the last 16 stage in 1998. Hosting the 2018 World Cup would at least ensure qualification.
When the year ends in a four England have problems - losing in the group stage in 1954 and failing to qualify in both 1974 and 1994. Jetting off to Brazil in support of England in 2014 may be wishful thinking!
And what impact on sentiment?
Will England’s performance boost consumer sentiment this month? Over the May-July period in the six previous World Cup tournaments England have competed in since 1982, confidence is up in three years and down in three.
In 1982 (Spain) confidence fell 3 points between May and July, down from –5 to -8
In 1986 (Mexico) confidence improved by 5 points, up from –8 to –3
In 1990 (Italy) confidence improved by 6 points, up from –30 to –24
In 1998 (France) confidence fell by 8 points from 7 to –1
In 2002 (Japan/South Korea) confidence fell by 4 points from 6 to 2
In 2006 (Germany) confidence improved by 1 point to –4 from –5
A free copy of the July Consumer Confidence Monitor to any reader who can correctly predict where confidence in July 2010 will be. (May 2010 –18).