‘Footballs coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming home’. Is it really coming home?
Up and down the nation, fans all across the nation are turning up in their numbers to give their support to England. 52 years of hurt
In sunny Samara on Saturday afternoon, England had beaten Sweden 2-0 to reach the World Cup semi final. A momental effort by Gareth Southgate and his boys which put one phrase on everyone’s lips – ‘Football’s coming home’
At the beginning of the World Cup, there was a lot of talk about the selection by Southgate. Had he picked the right squad? Can they handle the weight of expectation? Once the squad had been announced, the focus was now on the World Cup. Arriving in Russia, there were a few raised eyebrows.
There was no time for second guesses, there was no time for changes now. All the pundits were all in accordance that this World Cup is a stepping stone 2020 and so on but this year, England have surpassed all expectations. Going into the games, there were some squad selections to be ironed out – Henderson or Dier, Pickford or Butland, Sterling or Rashford.
Against Tunisia, those questions had been answered and they won 2-1. Kane with 2 goals which got them off to a good start. Against Panama, England turned into a golden performance winning 6-1 but against Belgium, they lost and questions were raised. Can they cope with the pressure? Can they cope with big games?
The last 16 and the Quarterfinals saw England dig deep into their energy tank to deliver displays that the team of 1966 would be proud of. The likes of Pickford, Trippier, Maguire, Lingard and Alli have all put their name into English folklore as they helped England reach the semi-finals.
The last time England had reached a World Cup semi-final was in 1990 where the likes of Gary Lineker, Ian Wright and Paul Gascoigne were in their prime and just 6 years later came that game against Germany where Southgate missed that infamous penalty.
Can all those years of pain spur England on to World Cup glory? Only time will tell and on Wednesday they have a chance to put right the wrongs of previous years.
For now, they have against Croatia to prepare for. The World Cup is on it’s way but whether it gets home is something that Southgate and his boys have to answer. They’ve answered a lot of critics so far with some impressive performances and you get the feeling that this could be their year.
Comparing them to the likes of France, Belgium and Croatia we could say that they may not have players as good as Mbappe, Griezmann, De Bruyne, Hazard or Modric but they make up for it in team spirit and unity.
Is it going to come home? Maybe, just maybe.