Where do we begin? Years and years of heartbreak, disappointment and failure. Its been a long 55 years since Bobby Moore and his jubilant 1966 World Cup winning England side lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy.
In fact, it’s been so long that the name has even changed.
But this just feels different… after the heartbreak of 2018, where England reached the semi-final, just to fall short to Croatia, the nation was of course disappointed, but also proud, and excited for what the future has to hold.
What went wrong in the past?
We are so used to disappointment. During the late 90’s and early 2000’s, England had a fantastic team that was destined for success. With the likes of Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, then leading to Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham.
I think every Englishman will forever be haunted by the lack of silverware won by those teams. They were filled with talent, and easily some of the world’s best players in one squad. Maybe that is what caused the lack of success?
With so many ego’s and so much talent in one squad, there were reports of unrest and a toxic atmosphere in the camp.
However away from the national team, the above players went on to win the lot. 2008 saw an all English Champions League Final. The same year that the England side missed out on a spot at the European Championship.
This saw the likes of; Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Wes Brown, Wayne Rooney all win the biggest prize in club football, but couldn’t secure a place in a major tournament for England?….
The first major tournament I remember was the 2002 World Cup. An England team filled with talent, yet got completely school by the eventual winners Brazil.
Fast forward to 2006.
England once again lost on penalties, scoring just 1, losing to Portugal.
2010. That Germany game.
Yes Frank Lampard should’ve had a goal to put England 2-1down… however we still lost 4-1. Would that goal have really helped? I don’t think so.
2014 was even worse. England managed a measly 3 group games before being knocked out due to Costa Rica finishing higher. Yes. Costa Rica.
With 2018 and Russia looming, things looked bleak for England. Expectations were low, and rightly so due to our recent history on the world’s biggest stage.
What happened next made the nation believe again….
2018 World Cup
As I touched on, the expectations were fairly low. England had a relatively easy group. But we’ve seen it all before.
However Gareth Southgate’s side completely blew away Panama, and managed to beat Tunisia in a game I believe we would have lost at any of the previous 4 World Cup’s.
A 1-0 defeat to an excellent Belgian side was nothing to be too disappointed about, and this led to the last 16.
A gritty Colombia took England to penalties, and once again we thought we knew what was coming. England…. penalties…. get the flight home booked.
But no.. England won a penalty shoot out.. the nation was starting to believe again..
A comfortable 2-0 victory over Sweden, and all of a sudden England were in the Semi Final of a World Cup. After all the years of failure, was this our year?
Let’s not take anything away. The 2018 World Cup was a great campaign. However we should’ve been in that final against France.
2021 or 2022 Winners?
Phil Foden. Mason Mount. Jack Grealish. And many many more.
This needs to be the time where England finally win something.
The time is now, and I believe we will win a tournament in the next couple of years.
There. I said it.
England will win the 2022 World Cup.