It’s not a new feat in the history of the nation, but the last time they went as far as the semifinals in a World Cup, nearly all members of the current squad weren’t born yet.
Maybe it was supposed to be harder than this, but as easy as the task seems, Gareth Southgate’s charges are definitely making the most of it.
The look on Rio Ferdinand’s face in the BBC live broadcast studio of the quarterfinals against Sweden say it all. He probably must be thinking, these guys are defiling logic.
England were truly on the kind side of the draw. A group that even afforded them the luxury of choosing how to finish. But the story could have been totally different for the Three Lions had they beaten Belgium in their last group game.
Yet, they could be grateful to sheer luck for avoiding Japan and Brazil. With all due respect, they don’t have the character Belgium exhibited to overcome those daunting tests.
On their lane, their progress is no brainer, this is a squad that isn’t under half of the pressure the golden generation of Beckham, Scholes, Lampard, Gerrard, Owen, Rooney and co were.
They were practically written off by their own but few expected them to deliver a bit. Of course, they’ve done more than that already.
They aren’t going home yet, they’ve not had a chance as bright as this since 1966. They must take everything.
Every game has been a stepping stone for them too. And perhaps they’ve realized the show against Colombia was nervous, Southgate’s stalwarts gave the best England performance in decades against Sweden.
You might want to ask if they only practice set-pieces execution in training. They’ve turned almost every corner kicks and free kicks into the back of the opponents net. Even a drilled Sweden who hadn’t been exposed with set play fell for it.
Nevertheless, creativity has been minimal as their attacking threat in open play had not been too reliable. Harry Kane’s bumpy ride to winning the golden boot says it all.
It all looks okay still. They say life is easy when nothing is expected, but they won’t mind to take it home. Football might return home!