My 1st experience following England was Portugal 2004 for the European Championships. Me and 7 friends booked a teletext holiday, accommodation on arrival! We had no clue where we would be located other than it would be in the Algarve. That trip turned out to be the best £149 I’ve ever spent.
Nothing I am about to write will fully do justice to Tuesday night. I know this isn’t the ideal opening line of a blog, but it is the truth. Tuesday night was one of those forever moments that you don’t get very often in life and even less so in when following a sport.
As I sit here at 4pm on Thursday, nearly 48 hours since I entered Wembley knowing the Tilton Talk Team need me to write something, I’m truthfully at a loss.
For those who have taken an interest in these blogs you will know that in my pre-tournament blog I stated the following:
“We know what we are getting with Southgate, he is a defensive minded coach with a ‘let’s not lose the game’ mentality. He see’s England’s strengths as a counter attacking team as opposed to a team who can play on the front foot. As a Nation we hope that he takes the shackles off and that he lets this young team just go out and express themselves, playing football as if they were that young lad playing on the playground.
How do I even begin to dissect the game on Friday? To be honest I am still in shock with how bad England played! We’re we that bad? We’re Scotland good? Is it a combination of both? 3 days on and I’m still as angry and dis-illusioned today as I was after the final whistle on Friday night.
Attending a football match never felt so good but like most of us who follow our team around the country week in week out it is something that we now take for granted. Prior to the pandemic it had got to a stage where I would think ‘Do I really want to go to Derby away again?’ not sure why I’ve singled out Derby which is a great away day every time we go but you understand the sentiment. There was nothing new in what we were doing and the grounds we were attending, my main focus for many years now has been the cup draws and the hope we drew a team whose ground I haven’t yet been, with the sole aim of joining the 92 club following 1 team!
It’s finally here and as much as I would like to play it down, I’m as excited for this tournament as I was for my very first tournament in 2004. Like in 2004 we have a squad that many believe gives us a chance of success but like every time the National team are due to play you are either a glass half empty kind of person or glass half full!