Welcome To The Jungle...It's Hot Here...

Our Matthew Stanger is in the World Cup's wildest location with England fans that don't care about the heat and locals who think the English are always complaining...

Last Updated: 13/06/14 at 14:10 Post Comment

Latest Articles

16 Conclusions On Man City 1 Chelsea 1

3 comments

A typical Mourinho away performance that seemed to indicate the title was Chelsea's, until narrative came back to haunt them. Daniel Storey enjoyed it immensely...

Ozil Starts To Answer His Critics...

18 comments

Matt Stanger watched Mesut Ozil answer his critics with a telling contribution in Arsenal's 3-0 thrashing of Aston Villa. It's now a question of playing him alongside Alexis Sanchez...

All Articles

Manaus has been gripped by World Cup fever ever since it was named as a host city, but the party started in earnest on Thursday as Brazil kicked off the tournament with a victory, shortly after England touched down in the rainforest. The streets were deserted for the two hours in which Neymar wowed the world with his incredible talent, but burst back into life with bangers and fireworks at full-time. The squares were a sea of yellow, making it easy to spot the sunburnt faces of England supporters dotted around the bars near the Opera House.

There is plenty of optimism among the Three Lions fans who have made the arduous journey to the World Cup's wildest location. It is perhaps a lot easier to be pessimistic about the team's chances at home, but for those who have travelled one thousand miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean on the four-hour flight from Sao Paulo, expectation is justified. "We've come here to see them win," said a Charlton fan proudly wearing his replica shirt. "I don't care about the heat."

Roy Hodgson is unlikely to share his sentiments. The intense humidity is the first thing on the England manager's mind when he leaves the air-conditioned relief of the hotel on Friday, and the last thing on his mind as he jumped into a taxi from the main plaza late last night. Hodgson was joined by Gary Neville and Ray Lewington as he soaked up the celebratory atmosphere following Brazil's victory and looked relaxed, if a little exhausted after a long day on the road and in the air.

It is not a surprise that England will fly back to their base in Rio immediately after the game on Saturday. When asked about his hopes for the tournament before the group stage draw, Hodgson described Manaus as a venue "ideally to avoid", pointing to its tropical nature. Despite taking back those comments after fierce criticism from the city's mayor, he will privately wish England had never been sent to the rainforest.

The players will enjoy their adventure to Manaus, but England's problems have been made worse by the state of the playing surface at the Arena da Amazonia. There was a friendly exchange between locals and England fans on Thursday evening, with the tourists wanting to know why the pitch isn't ready just a few days before kick-off. 'England are always complaining', was the response.

Hodgson is set to meet journalists on Friday afternoon (around 10pm, UK time), to discuss his possible team selection following an open training session. There is much debate over whether Wayne Rooney should start and what roles should be handed to Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley, but there is a sense that England would be happy to take a draw and return to Rio to focus on the rest of the tournament. Given the conditions they are set to face and the heavy pitch in the Arena da Amazonia, let's hope they have enough gas left in the tank for Uruguay and Luis Suarez.

Matthew Stanger - he's in Brazil, you know

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew braced for protests

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Transfer News: Peter Crouch could earn new Stoke contract as QPR maintain interest

Mark Hughes is open to rewarding Peter Crouch with a new contract at Stoke as QPR remain interested in the striker.

Premier League: Crystal Palace beat Everton 3-2 at Goodison Park

Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Everton 3-2 and pick up their first win of the Premier League campaign.

Premier League: Frank Lampard haunts Chelsea as he earns Manchester City earn 1-1 draw

Frank Lampard stepped off the bench to score against his former club and salvage a 1-1 draw for Man City at home to Chelsea.

Mail Box

Liverpool Aren't Even Exciting This Season

Liverpool fans are seemingly resigned to slipping back into mediocrity, which in September isn't exactly ideal. Plus better Arsenal, Allardyce praise and an excited Saint...

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property