And Then One Night In Rome…

Let’s set our stall out early with this blog like the England team did on Saturday night, it’s time to get excited isn’t it!

It’s taken a while for the whole nation to really get behind this team and this Manager, he and they will always divide opinion but after the game on Saturday evening the whole nation and even biggest critics must have stood up an applauded.

What a weekend..

Saturday night was ruthless by England.  It was the most dominating performance I’ve seen in this tournament.  I’m sure people will say ‘it was only Ukraine’ but when are we going to start giving ourselves and this team credit?

Stats are subjective, personally I love them, but these are the stats and facts:

  • 1st team EVER to keep 5 consecutive clean sheets at the Euros;
  • 1st time EVER England have kept 7 consecutive clean sheets;
  • 2nd EVER England Manager to get us to 2 consecutive Semi Finals.

Saturday was ruthless, how many times have we struggled to show our dominance against an inferior team?  This wasn’t a gung-ho approached, it was still a performance reminiscent of the Manager.

England had 10 shots on goal, 6 shots on target and scored 4 goals!  That is just being clinical and ruthless.

Defensively was supposed to be England’s weakness.  In the whole tournament we have allowed 10 shots on target against us! 5 games, 10 shots on target!

Did we get out of 2nd gear at all in the 90 minutes?  Did we need to?  At any stage watching the game did any of us think we wouldn’t win.

It was strange but we are the best ..

Not being in Rome was hard and weird.  I should have been there; in normal circumstances I would have been there.  However, seeing the support England had in Rome from people living all around the world making the effort to go to the 1 game that they can only confirmed what I already know… WE ARE THE BEST FANS IN THE WORLD.

Historically the media will have led you to believe that this is not the case, that wherever England go trouble follows.  Saturday showed that you can throw anything you like at us as a fan base, the reality is that other nations look on at our support with envy.

Everyone’s a pundit ..

I have a rule of not watching football matches at a pub or in public unless I am at the game.  I find it hard to listen to people in the pub and their opinions and am always conscious of being in a place where too many from fans from down the road are present! Yes, this is England and we should all be united, but it doesn’t mean we have to socialise with them does it.

Another massive plus point from Saturday night was that social media Managers, me included and the so-called pre-tournament experts were all put in their place by this team.  Sterling according to many shouldn’t be in the squad yet he has 3 goals so far and has been integral.  Not enough has been made of his pass for the 1st goal, if KDB had done that it would have been on repeat for weeks!

For Harry, Harry and St George

We then have the Harry Kane should be dropped brigade! Weird bunch!  As stated by me in prior to the tournament in my blog.  Play to Harry Kane’s strengths and he will score goals. More importantly when he is scoring goals England are a completely different animal.  The last 2 games have shown that when we play with pace wide and get crosses into the box for Kane to come onto, he is as good as there is in the world. 

Harry Maguire!  Why pick him if he is injured?  Again, as stated by me previously he is our most important cog in the 11. When he plays our options as a team are endless and we are more balanced and more affective both defensively and offensively.  MOTM v Germany, Goal v Ukraine and proving all the critics wrong.  The lack of respect on his and John Stones names is disgusting!

Why is he playing 2 defensive midfielders?  Yeah, I can’t lie that has been me saying that but for whatever reason for England it just works.  They are the engine that ensures everything else moves the way that it should.  Our insurance policy that allow Stones and Maguire to play out from the back with confidence, allow the full backs to push on and the wingers to flourish.

What’s to come ..

Every single negative this team and these players have had thrown at them individually and collectively have been put to bed. 

THEY…..

believe in the process.

believe in their Manager.

trust each other.

and they take pleasure in each other’s success (see the celebration when Hendo scored for this).

Now it is time for all of us to simply get on board and believe in them.

Tomorrow night we will be favourites to win the game and with that comes a new pressure.  This team look as though they are ready for this challenge, they are focused and most importantly they believe that NOW is their time.

To the people who ‘don’t really follow their country, to those of you that pretend not to want England to do well.  Welcome to the dance!  We, the fans who travel the world have told you how good this party is for years.  That is why we get the tickets at the prices we do.  That is why we will be there tomorrow and win or lose be at the next game England play.

The England National team should be for 4 weeks in June/July every 2 years.  This is how we should feel about our National team every time they play.

These are players we can be proud of.

They are players we can trust.

And they are players that I honestly believe could finally bring football back home.

FORWARD TO WEMBLEY!

Watch out for more to come from our Bluenose on International Duty

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