England World Cup Review
The 2018 World Cup was meant to be a stepping stone for England, instead, it became the summer that made everyone dream again. Manager Gareth Southgate had his job assured whether England lost every game or won the whole tournament, which gives you the idea of where the FA saw England’s chances. With a young squad, the 2nd youngest in the competition, England exceeded all expectations in achieving a semi-final place. Impressive performances from players such as Jordan Pickford, Kieran Trippier, John Stones, Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane give fans a lot of hope for the future.
– Best Performance in 28 Years!
It shouldn’t be overlooked that England hasn’t reached a World Cup semi-final since 1990. Even with superstars such as David Beckham, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard etc, the furthest England got since then was a quarter-final. England hadn’t even won a knockout game in a major tournament in 12 years. This year we won 2!
– Shootout Curse is Over
The penalty shootout against Colombia showed the strength this England side has to previous ones, they are fearless. England sides of previous years looked scared of penalties yet each one of England’s penalties this year, even Henderson’s, was well struck and struck with confidence.
– Gareth Southgate
To think, if it wasn’t for Sam Allardyce taking bungs, we would be watching route one football with Andy Carroll up front right now. Southgate wasn’t many people’s first choice when appointed but who would get rid of him now? He has changed the way we play, think and is a big part of the success of England sides of all age groups. And he even made waistcoats stylish!
The main thing Southgate has brought to this team is an identity. Long gone are the days of putting star players together with no plan and hoping for the best. This England side are always trying to play football the right way. Long may it continue.
– Will We Get a Better Chance?
You know those annoying, negative people spouting off about how we didn’t beat anyone good? They may have a point. Our route to the final was favourable. Croatia, as Luka Modric said, should not have been underestimated but you’d have taken Colombia and Sweden as knockout games.
– The Midfield
While Jordan Henderson and Jesse Lingard had impressive tournaments and Dele Alli contributed with a goal, the midfield may be a concern with this formation. Against Croatia, England could not keep hold of the ball and I think it could be due to Dele and Lingard being more attacking midfielders than ones that will keep hold of it. Can England find that other central midfielder who will keep possession better?
– Raheem Sterling’s Goal Drought
The fans hate him, the pundits rate him, but one thing everyone can agree on is that he needs to start scoring. Credit where it’s due, England look a lot better as a team when Sterling is on. However, he looks so short on confidence in front of goal, it looks like he will never score. How long can England rely on Harry Kane and set pieces before Sterling finds his shooting boots?
No one should take away what England achieved this summer. For the first time in many years, we played good football, scored lots of goals and finally looked like we had a plan and a future. One stat that may excite England fans for the future is this: U17s – World Champions
U19s – European Champions
U20s – World Champions
U21s – Euro Semifinals
Senior team – World Cup semifinals
Football may not have come home yet, but there’s every chance it will do soon!
– Robert Shiers