England World Cup 2018: A look back on the Three Lions in Russia, including that Trippier free-kick, Gareth Southgate’s song and Harry Kane’s goals
It may not have ended in success, but England’s World Cup campaign was one hell of a ride.
From Harry Kane’s goals, finally winning a penalty shoot-out to Jordan Pickford swimming with an inflatable unicorn, 2018 will live long in the memory for many England fans – at least it will for those who didn’t throw their beer into the sky.
The manager even had his own song, as he oversaw the closest England had come to reaching the World Cup final since Italia ’90, so when Croatia spoiled the fun, supporters wept into their collective plastic pint cups.
But could they have reached a first final since 1966, the year they won the tournament?
“Of the four semi-finalists, with the 40 outfield players that started, we had 10 from the Premier League in our team,” England assistant manager Steve Holland told the Telegraph when discussing the benefits a winter break would bring.
“Croatia had one. Belgium had nine in their team; France had three. We don’t rest at Christmas and every game in our league you have to be on the money or you are in trouble.
“So the demands on our players are higher. It’s worth making that point – the World Cup Final had just four Premier League players in it. At the end of the tournament, fatigue is really significant. I am not blaming that, don’t get me wrong, but I would think it’s a mistake to ignore the fact.”
The year, though, still ended positively as England got their own back on Croatia by topping their Nations League group with a dramatic win against their World Cup foes at Wembley.
Source: SportsLatest TS