A peak audience of 24.4million watched England’s penalty shoot-out live on ITV, in-home this week. The excitement surrounding this World Cup is truly second to none, and as we have all become wrapped up in the dream… all that’s left to say is… It’s coming home.
No game is a guarantee, as proven by early exits from the likes of Germany and Spain, however our run-in to the final is looking absolutely beautiful. First up, Sweden, followed by the winner of Croatia v Russia.
A turbulent round-of-16 fixture saw us break the curse, winning in a penalty shootout against Colombia to take the final spot in the quarter-finals. The wave of heavyweight exists has left us daring to dream, with people backing the national team and actually having faith for once!
The young, dynamic team has certainly made its mark already in Russia, however there are a couple of changes I’d make going forwards.
Sterling isn’t doing it for me. I gave him a fair chance but while he’s skilled, his touch has been horrific at times, and he doesn’t manage to get the ball out of his feet before being tackled which has led to frustrating viewing. He also hasn’t been working in line with Southgate’s game plan, meaning he doesn’t create space for other players, something I think has killed us a little in some games. I’d replace him with Rashford, as I feel he’s a little more creative and just has a bit more hunger about him.
The second change I’d make is bringing Rose in for Young. I’d be interested to see the difference it makes as I can’t really say I’ve felt comfortable watching Young this World Cup. Dele needs a rest by the looks of things too, as he’s just not fit yet and a breather could keep him available for later stages, should we get that far.
Trippier and Kane have been the stand-out players for me so far. It’s been an odd few weeks, celebrating at smiling Spurs players’ faces, however for the sake of England, I suppose I’ll have to back them. Maguire has been unstoppable in the air and Pickford’s performance in goal has been incredible as well, keeping us in the competition.
It’s heating up!
What would you change ahead of our game against Sweden this Saturday? Share your thoughts on Twitter @hollseey
Until next time,