Room 433 is back from its summer break and we are once again here to lock away something from or around the world of football into this room of despair so we hopefully never have to see it ever again. Previously the likes of away goals and bad defending have been locked up in the room so its safe to say we have covered some of the truly most irritating things about football already. Today we return with one of the only true problems with the World Cup: negative England fans.
England made it all the way to the semi finals of Russia 2018, in case you have been living on another planet for the last six weeks, yet some fans will still find a reason to be negative. The usual complaint is along the lines of ‘we have not actually improved, we just had an incredibly easy run to the semi.’ And in fairness the run to the semi was fairly straight forward. I am not disputing that fact but what I am fiercely disputing is that this means that England have not improved. Trust me on this, history is on my side.
Yes the likes of Panama and Sweden are countries we are supposed to be beating but since 2010 alone we have failed to beat the following countries in major tournaments: USA, Algeria, Costa Rica, Slovakia, Russia and Iceland. We have come up short against all of these supposed ‘smaller teams’ since 2010 and failed against them all. So to say England have not improved when we got that last minute winner against Tunisia and defeated Panama and Sweden comfortably is just untrue.
The Columbia game however represents the strongest case to prove those annoying naysayers unequivocally wrong. Under any of the recent England managers from Hodgson to Capello, from McClaren to Sven England lose that match. England, yes England, won a penalty shoot out. Gareth Southgate has managed to instil confidence in a team like no manager has done since Euro 96 and more importantly he has won back the fans who were sick and tired of the same old England. Lets not also forget that despite behaving pretty disgracefully during the tie that Colombian side still contained some top quality players such as Faclcao, Cuadrado and Davinson Sanchez all of whom would probably get into the England squad – especially if Phil Jones can still get in.
So yes I appreciate it is all not completely rosy with England and there are certainly some concerns going forward but there are also a whole bunch of positives. A likeable team and manager for a start plus a clear tactical plan, something that many of Southgate’s predecessors simply never had. So yes we may have all got a bit swept up with ‘Three Lions’ this summer and yes too much beer was probably thrown in the air but if you are a negative England fan – have a word with yourself. Oh and you’re permanently staying in Room 433.