All credit to the players who put away the penalties (including Rashford who probably had most pressure as he’d been brought on specifically to score one) and to Pickford for a stunning save (and the one just at the end of normal time which was probably the save of the tournament but never got a replay).
However, all the reaction shows the collective neurosis and sense of paranoid victim hood that probably fuelled Brexit (i.e. the foreigners have always won because somehow it’s their fault for England’s own failings).
Like Murray winning Wimbledon, this penalty shootout will hopefully end the middle-class sense of injustice. In fact, you expect a certain element would have been happier to have been eliminated so they could pin the blame on the dirty, cheating foreigners, as has been the narrative for at least the last 45 years.
England were pretty dier (get it?) throughout most of the match. Kane was so deep he could have been Matic for Man Utd. Sterling was the only forward for much of the time and he was useless as ever (except for one run). Henderson was anonymous. Walker made the expected howling mistake. Alli was obviously injured (as he was during most of the Tunisia match). Is he such an egotist that he’s pushing himself forward to play?
About the only player who exceeded expectations, apart from Pickford, was Maguire.
The level of creativity in the team was also dire.
That said, if this bunch don’t beat Sweden, who are probably on a level with Watford in terms of individual players, then they’re a disgrace.
The point that’s so obvious about this World Cup that none of the pundits have realised it, is that with so many Premier League and Championship players in the other teams then England know all their opponents so much better than all other teams (apart from possibly Belgium) so they know how they match up against them. Stones, Walker and Sterling know they’ve played in a team on a level with supposed gods of football like Jesus (get it?) and Fernandinho and they know that Willian and Firmino play for teams who finished well below them in the league.