First of I would like to congratulate France on winning the World Cup and secondly, what a world cup it was. Thirdly, thank you Russia for holding such a prestigious tournament.
Now where do I begin with England’s 2018 World Cup journey? I’m just glad that we started our group with Tunisia first as I don’t think we would of got anywhere as far as we got. But what a tight match that actually was, but the tightness of the match could of been avoided really as the way the Tunisian players were holding our players in the box every time we had a set piece especially corners as we should of had at least 2 penalties in that game but the ref never blew up for them and VAR never told him to have a look either but thats they’re choice but we scraped through with a 2-1 win with a late Harry Kane header to secure the 3 points.
Then in our second game we had to play Panama and I was glad that we got them second as if we had got Belgium second it would of been nail biting stuff for our third game, but luckily we played Panama. I thought they were better than Tunisia but like Tunisia they were doing the same stupid fouls in the area that Tunisia did but unfortunately for Panama the ref noticed and we kept getting the penalties, you would of thought that they would of learned their lesson after the first time but did they… no is the short answer to that. But even though I thought they were better than Tunisia they got an absolute battering from us. Final score, 6-1 to us.
So next up for us and the last of the group stage for us was Belgium, both teams had won they’re first 2 group stage matches so had already qualified for the knockout stages… both managers decided to play a weakened team for this match, with Belgium making 9 changes and England making 8 changes for this group match. If I’m being honest, it was just a glorified training session in my opinion with no team really trying to score or make an effort, both teams just passing the ball between themselves with no end product really, but then in the second half Belgium found a way through and scored, England did try and find a way back into the game but still not finding that penetrating pass or that end product and it finished 1-0 to Belgium. That meant Belgium went through top of the group and got a slightly easier game in Japan but Japan put up a fight, and we got the slightly harder draw by facing Colombia and they were a very strong side but after seeing Panama get punished from throwing our players to the ground you would of thought that teams would of learnt there lessons from doing that to our players, but did they? No and of course we got a penalty, who should step up for yet another penalty but our leading goalscorer Harry Kane and he slots it home, 1-0 England. Then just as the whole nation was about to celebrate us getting through to the quarter finals of the World Cup, Colombia just had to come up and equalise didn’t they… 1-1, extra time beckoned… still neither team could find a breakthrough and the dreaded penalty shootout beckoned. Me with I expect most England fans thought oh well it was good while it lasted but were coming home, but how wrong were we? We beat them 4-3 on penalties.
So next up in the quarter finals we had to play Sweden and we have a reasonably poor record against Sweden. So the game was another pretty boring game but as in the other games Gareth Southgate set up our team the same way and yet again, it paid off and we won 2-0 against a very poor Sweden team. I don’t think I have seen a Sweden team be this poor before but another pleasing result and a semi final beckoned for England for the first time since 1990 in the World Cup.
So Croatia is the team that we would be facing in the semi final, and its another team that we have poor results against, so could we change this around this year, I’m afraid not, we got off to a flying start in like so many of our previous games. But if only Kane had passed to Sterling we might of actually won as we would of been 2-0 up but it was a night of missed opportunities. But Croatia equalised in the second half and my gosh they do know how to attack but the game opened up and both teams had chances but England rued they’re missed chances like they nearly always do, but credit where its due to Croatia they battled on and after 2 extra time and penalties for Croatia most people thought they would tire which they did as most of they’re players got cramp and couldn’t walk but fair play to them for getting the winner in extra time. As soon as Croatia scored there second, they took of Modric so I was hoping that we would get the equaliser so we would go to penalties but it wasn’t to be.
It should of been an England v France final but sadly we just couldn’t do it, so it was a replay of our final group match of Belgium v England in the 3rd place playoff. I think everybody was hoping that we could get revenge over Belgium for our 1-0 defeat in the final group match but sadly it wasn’t meant to be and we lost 2-0 with a brilliant performance from both teams but in my opinion and most other people’s minds it was just one game too much for this relatively young England squad. I for one didn’t think that we would get this far so I’m proud of this England squad and I’m proud that we have Gareth Southgate as manager but I for one think we have an exciting future with this England squad as I definitely see potential there and with all the England youth that have got to finals etc in there age category we really do have an exciting future.
The one last thing I have to mention is, well done to Harry Kane on winning the golden boot at this years World Cup.
What do you make of these thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!