So, England have made us proud by reaching a semi-final. They’ve also made us sad by ONLY reaching a semi-final. Thing is, we can be both, so that’s fine. What’s also fine is the understanding that England have exceeded our expectations by reaching the semi-finals, whilst also admitting that the run to the game against Croatia was against teams that were (mostly) inferior to England.

Therefore, we should all sing “Hip Hip Hooray!” when they get off the plane, regardless of the Saturday result. We should also say thank you to Russia, for hosting a great tournament (on the surface) completely against the media’s (and the government’s) wishes of a PR disaster for them.

BUT (and I know that’s a bad way to start a sentence…) this little blog isn’t about their performance as much as it is about what is going to happen in two years time.

This England team is a young team, and has given us a lot of hope as to the future of the squad. Alongside the successes of the England youth teams it looks like we have a brighter future than once thought. However, there are still a lot of things that Gareth Southgate needs to sort out before Euro 2020.

Let’s start with Raheem Sterling. He was criticised before the tournament for not scoring enough goals. He hasn’t done much to help his reputation in this tournament. Now, you can say what you like; that he created chances, that he was quick on the ball, etcetera, etcetera, but that’s not the point. England were short on goals at this World Cup. I probably could have scored against Panama, so forget that scoreline. Looking at the goals that were actually scored, how many came from open play rather than as a result of a set piece? Raheem Sterling may play well, he may indeed dictate play, but he is a forward, and a forward’s job is to score goals. Gareth Southgate needs to tell him that he’s got 2 years to learn how to do the forward’s job, or else he needs to be shipped out and someone else given a chance. Southgate has stuck by him in this World Cup, and Stirling hasn’t paid him back.

Then there is Harry Kane. He shouldn’t be captain. As I said before, a forward’s job is to score goals, and you cannot be an effective captain and getting in the correct positions to score said goals if you are constantly having to thing about the rest of the team, their positioning, and the way they are playing. Harry Kane is an excellent striker. He should be left to be a striker, and not have to worry about the rest of the team. You see this all the time in all manner of sports. Just because you are the best player on a team does not mean you should be made captain. Cricket is another great example of how being made captain distracts you from the task of playing well – just look at how so many England players’ averages decrease after being made captain, and then increase again after it has been taken away from them. The captaincy needs to go to someone who can command the team, and take positions that allow him to see and contribute to the flow of the game.

Which leads me to Jordan Henderson. I, like many, was a huge detractor of his before this World Cup. I have been proven wrong. He was made Liverpool captain in 2015, and whilst not as iconic as Steven Gerrard, he is a worthy successor. Should be made the England captain immediately so he can have 2 years at the helm before the Euros.

As for the rest – it’s a good squad. Probably will need a replacement for Ashley Young as his age is genuinely catching up with him. I don’t want to speculate who that could be as no-one else has really been given a run out at this World Cup because of the general success of the team.

Just my thoughts on this. Do you disagree? Of course you do, since we all love football, and we all think we’d do a better job with the team despite knowing nothing about it when compared to Mr Southgate and everyone who plays professionally! I mean, what do I know? I’m just a web designer after all…

Or am I… >_>

… yep.