We’re in the f*ck!n% semis
On the eve of the 2018 Fifa World Cup my expectations were low. It’s not that I didn’t want the national team to do well, of course I did. It’s just, for all my life, England have perpetually under performed at major tournaments. Whether it was the golden generation of Becks, Lamps & Stevie G or that glorious team captained by the mightiest of humans Mr. Tony Adams, containing the mercurial talents of Gazza, Platt and Ince, they always fell short.
Like father like son
Also in the squad of 1996 was a certain Gareth Southgate, Gate to his mates, certainly not Big Nose.. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing in particular against the gaffer, but when it was announced, it felt like a safe bet, a means of steadying what was seemingly a sinking ship. I will happily hold my hands up and say I was wrong. Not only has said ship been steadied, a new found unity and with it a certain swagger has developed under his tutelage. As well as all this, he always appears to be the calmest person in the stadium, something that reflects on his team and the way they go about their business. Clearly it’s not his own wedding he’s dressed up for…..
A tale of two Kieran’s
Gone are the days of inter club rivalries, big egos and orgies involving presumably the classiest of ladies. The exclusion of certain players, notably Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere may have raised a few eyebrows, but what it really did was allowed Mr. Gate to make this team his own. The spine of Yorkshire men making up 80% of the back 5 add a certain steel to proceedings, offering security to the tireless running of Raheem Sterling, the industry of Jesse Lingard and enabling that big oaf of a human Harry Kane doing what he does best, m̶u̶m̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶w̶a̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶r̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶e̶r̶v̶i̶e̶w̶s̶ score goals.
A special mention must go to Kieran Tripper, who; aside from having a great 1st name, has been absolutely phenomenal throughout in Russia. As much as it pains me to say, if ever I were happy for Tottenham players to win a major trophy, now is the time.
A nation united.. fuck you Brexit
The joy of the World Cup is that it unites people in a way like nothing else, something our jumped up little country has needed for a while now. Folk who usually couldn’t give a flying fuck about a bunch of overpaid divas, getting behind there nation, supporting the team, singing with strangers, fervently discussing how the referee is in fact a wanker around the water cooler.
If we crash out at the penultimate hurdle, or even if we were to beat the Croatians but come a little short at the last, one thing is for sure. This team, the manager and all his backroom staff can hold their heads high, as the nation once again cares. No not cares, believes. And if we do go all the way, if we bring football home, well……
Big Nose? That’s Sir Big Nose to you son.
Thanks for reading and until next time…