Once again, England have been bounced from a major tournament by a team that, on paper at least, they probably should have beaten (though, how they could have reasonably expected to overcome Dejan Lovren’s awesomeness is beyond me).
However, this time under Gareth Southgate felt...different. The Three Lions showed a great deal of fight, attacking quality, and togetherness before ultimately crumbling under the weight of expectations and history (#itscominghome). Of course, England had to bow out early, doing what England does.
Still, they should be commended for at least coming this far, further than any England side since 1990. And Liverpool player and former England international Daniel Sturridge is not having any of your negative tweets:
If anyone has anything negative to say about this @England team or individuals keep your tweets to yourself. Nobody would have thoughts they'd be where they are or achieved what they have and they've made everyone proud so get behind them and show love not hate #threelions ❤️— Daniel Sturridge (@DanielSturridge) July 11, 2018
Sturridge isn’t wrong. In a tournament that saw Germany getting bounced in the Group Stage, Spain out in the Round of 16, and mighty Brazil out in the Quarterfinals, a Semifinal run for the Three Lions is very impressive. They even won a penalty shootout along the way. How exciting.
Of course, considering the way the World Cup played out, with England’s side of the bracket being considerably easier than the other, some will feel that this was a blown opportunity.
That might be true, but you can only beat the teams that are put in front of you, and England did exactly that. Except for Belgium. And Croatia. Other than that, a good tourney from the Three Lions, one that certainly surpassed most expectations.
On another note, even if you don’t get much playing time, don’t leave us Daniel. You’re a bright, pure light, in the murky darkness of the world of football.