We never seem to lose conventionally do we? There is always drama, agony and misgivings. I feel truly gutted for Harry Kane, he really is one of the good guys.
I thought, I think we all did, that France would be the roadblock to winning the tournament, yet the fact is beyond this round, this has to be the biggest opportunity ever to win the whole thing since 1966.
Tonight I felt we were the better team, created plenty of chances played with spirit and more enterprise than the French, who were petulant and petty, but when it came down to it in moments that mattered they bettered us and it’s they that continue.
I think in 2018 none of us could believe our luck at reaching the semi-finals, that side was not one of the best four in the world, but the draw was favourable, but despite the record books noting a regression this time around, we did have a swagger and a depth of possible winners. Not sure I have ever thought that about an England team in my lifetime.
Referring aided by VAR has been pretty good at the tournament, but this referee was bloody awful. I hope he is packing his bags tonight as well.
I have always thought Gareth Southgate gets a rough ride, yes he can’t always please 60 million people, but he has carried out his job with dignity and reverence. No one has been as successful as he as England manager in my lifetime. There will be pockets of indignation, but in my mind he has changed expectations and aspirations and deserves to give 2024 his best shot.
A tough night, again, with the recurring as if’s, but as painful as it is, it feels somehow different this time.