England: Time to bring the Trophy Home?
The recent results of the pre-tournament favorites like Brazil, Argentina and Germany have resulted in giving a very positive vibe around the Three Lions faithful resulting the whole world turning their eyes on the 1966 World Cup Champions England.
It’s been 52 years since that day in London where the great Sir Alf Ramsey team led by the West Ham and England legend Bobby Moore lifted the famous Jules Rimet trophy in front of the thousands of Three Lion faithful at the Wembley Stadium. Many English teams have come and gone after that (the most notable being the so called “Golden Generation” of English football with players such as Lampard, Gerrard, Scholes, Terry, Rooney, Ferdinand etc. who despite having the best team let their petty ego’s and rivalry between their football clubs get the better of their national pride) and tried to emulate the success of the 66 World Cup winning team but none have come close to lifting that famous trophy with closest being the Fourth place finish in 1990 Italy World Cup which ended with England being beaten by their bitter rivals Germany on penalties.
The Penalty Curse
The 1990 World Cup saw the rise of a particular phenomenon among the English teams which later came to be known as the penalty curse. The 13 major tournaments that’s followed the 90 World Cup the Three Lions have failed to qualify for 2 (1994 WC and 2008 Euro), thrice getting eliminated in group stages (1992, 2000 Euro and 2014 WC) and 5 times getting eliminated on penalties. The fact that 5 of 8 times England have qualified to the knockout stages have resulted in them being knocked out on penalties is quite staggering.
Gareth Southgate and leash of new life
2016 saw the English being knocked out of the Euro Cup by Iceland resulting in their coach Roy Hodgson getting the sack and the subsequent replacement Sam Allardyce being sacked after just 67 days leaving the team in dire straits resulting in U-21 manager Gareth Southgate being named the caretaker manager and subsequently being named the new manager of England. The appointment of Southgate resulted in a lot of young players being given a chance into the once rigid English team setup. They have gained victories over the dutch and reputable draws over the Germans and the Brazilians with a 3-2 defeat against France being the only bad mark.
English FA goal of winning World Cup 2022
2017 saw the English FA aim of World Cup glory in 2022 taking shape. It was a momentous year for English football as it saw the English winning their first ever international tournament after 66 World Cup. The young lions first won the U-20 World Cup in South Korea followed this up with U-19 European Championship in Georgia and the U-17 World Cup in India with all 3 being the first trophies post 1966.
The first major test for three lions comes on the 28th of June against mighty Belgium. The unpredictable of this World Cup has seen the favorites being made to toil and with Belgium being one of them, leading the English faithful in the positive and feverish mood.
So will it be this year that the trophy is brought home by the English Lions?