‘What’s that sound?’ you may enquire. That, my friend, is the sound of momentum grinding to a halt. That is the sound of far too many England fans getting what they wanted and finishing second in the group.
I’m still struggling to get my head around last night’s match, if truth be told. Somehow, England appear to have fallen into a trap where they believe that wins over Tunisia and Panama means they can pick and choose which route to a semi-final is better for them. Hi folks, remember the celebrations when we finished second in the Euro group in 2016 and we drew Iceland. Oh, how we danced.
Having lost 1-0 to Belgium last night, a goal scored by Adnan Januzaj for crying out loud, England play Colombia on Tuesday night. But that’s OK everyone, because once we beat them we get Sweden or Switzerland and basically, that’s a bye to the last four.
What the actual?
Have you seen Colombia? They are slightly better than Panama and Tunisia and let’s be honest, we failed to beat Belgium’s reserve team last night. Sure, we picked our second string as well but that’s not the point.
I nearly believed Gareth Southgate when he said in the pre-match chatter that the team could not afford to get drawn into thinking about the best possible routes and that it was important to keep momentum. He also suggested we would see a highly-motivated team. Motivated to do what? All Eric Dier seemed motivated to do was give the ball away and make Jordan Henderson look even better. As for Danny Rose, Januzaj had his number from the first minute and it might be worth reminding the Tottenham left-back that long barriers are for cricket. And as for Marcus Rashford, you have to bury those mate. You really do. And, back to Southgate, if you are suggesting we are actually trying to win that match why was Harry Kane left on the bench?
England have taken a lot of very positive steps forward in recent weeks but I do worry that they might have got a bit ahead of themselves here.
Granted, Colombia were not even in the next round until Yerry Mina drew himself level with John Stones in the ‘headers from a corner’ stakes. His goal put Colombia top of their group and saw Senegal eliminated on the Fair Play ruling. I was hoping for one of Colombia or Senegal to miss out as I didn’t fancy either in the R16 round but sods law meant we ended up with Colombia anyway.
It’s not going to be easy folks. We have a very tough 90 minutes or so coming up. Falcao might want to show English people that we didn’t see the best of him in the Premier League, you know? Scripts pre-written and all that…