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England expects (not any more)

Since England won the World Cup on 1966 we have only got beyond the quarters twice – in 1990 and 2018.

So it was no surprise to lose to France though it’s normally at the shootout not by missing penalties.

The interesting aspect, some 72 hours on, is that there is not much stirring of hatred in the tabloids for Harry Kane nor a crescendo of criticism for Gareth Southgate (if anything the opposite).

There appears to be a realignment of expectation that, what is blindingly obvious – namely that England went out at its level of performance and competence.

Some blame the referee, who admittedly had a poor game, but not Harry Kane for skying his penalty.  If you miss the target you can’t even hope for a goalkeeper’s rebound.

Since Alf Ramsay was sacked in 1974 we have had Don Revie, Joe Mercer, Ron Greenwood, Graham Taylor, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Fabio Capello, Sam Allardyce, Roy Hodgson and Gareth Southgate but – whoever is in charge – England do not seem able to get over the line to win a match against the big international sides, be they Germany, Argentina,  or France.

There has been a golden generation but no trophies.

Personally I hope Southgate does not resign but remains as coach until such time as Chelsea sack Graham Potter.

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About Rex Mitchell

Rex Mitchell is a Brentford supporter from childhood. This has not prevented him having a distinguished Fleet Street career as a sports reporter and later deputy football editor. A widower, Rex is a bit of a bandit golfer off his official handicap of 20 and is currently chairman of his local bowls club. More Posts