Tom Cleverley's World Cup Blog

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We caught up with Watford Club Captain Tom Cleverley to hear about the clubs’s mid-season tour in Spain and what the former England man thinks about the World Cup so far and more of what’s to come.

Tom Cleverley  

It's been good out here, very good so far in fact. 

I guess we're just over half-way through the week and the lads have really bought into the spirit of getting the most out of a week like this. 

Us injured lads - the likes of me, Imran [Louza], Kortney [Hause], Samuel [Kalu] - are really grateful to the gaffer for offering us the chance to come out here with the team and feel really included. 

With any kind of rehab, wherever you're at along that road, I've always thought a change of scenery can have a very positive effect on your outlook in terms of getting back - even if you're generally confident. 

Our group has been working hard at both ends of the day and, like the other boys, we've been able to catch plenty of the World Cup

Funnily enough, I've got Switzerland and Cameroon on as I'm writing this blog.

We've had a bit of a laugh when Morocco v Croatia came up the other day because we've got Imran here, who would have started for Morocco, and the manager who of course is a legend of the Croatian national team. Perhaps it was good that one was a draw! 

I think one of the South American sides will make the final.

My heart tells me England to win it, though, and you can't feel anything different once you've had the privilege of representing your country. 

I was really happy to see us go to four at the back against Iran. In the games building up to the World Cup, we had only three players joining in attacks.

Now it means we've got four or five players joining in, plus the attacking full-backs.

Maybe the manager has identified the real strengths of the squad and is prepared to play to them this time.

That's the big question for me; whether he'll stick with that against tougher opposition.

I think 4-3-3 suits us best. The game against the States will be a much bigger test, then Tuesday will be very much like a Premier League game against Wales. 

Brazil have got an impressive squad, I think Argentina are far better than what we saw against Saudi Arabia.

And elsewhere in Europe, you just can't rule out Portugal because they do tournament football so well. 

If I had to boil it down to one choice away from England, I'd say Brazil. They've got a well-balanced squad with a lot of players in their prime years right now.

They've got great experience where it really matters and quite a few quality younger ones playing their first World Cup. That's a good mix for me. 

International football can become quite stale when you're playing the same sort of teams from your own continent in the Nations League, friendlies, etc.

I think the World Cup really galvanises interest across the world, because of the nature of unusual match-ups.

It's certainly been like that out here in Spain and I'm on messages with one man who hasn't missed a minute yet, Dan Gosling back home. 

I've been video calling with him, not just to talk World Cup but to see how he's doing after his operation.

He's my closest mate in the squad, and with this injury I've had a very similar journey to the one he's got ahead of him now. 

He was too close to his op to get out here with us, as he can't really get around far right now.

But I'm keeping him in the loop and I know he's in touch with other lads as well. 

When we're back, I'll be able to work with him on rehab along with a couple of the other guys, and hopefully that'll be a bit of a boost for us both.


All the best