For the better part of 55 years now fans of the English national team have been waiting to celebrate another tournament triumph. Tomorrow, after all that time, they may finally have the chance to lift a trophy they’ve never actually claimed before – the European Championship.
The stakes are incredibly high as we all know but in front of a capacity crowd at Wembley, many will see England as the favourites to beat Italy and finally allow the nation to rejoice.
One game of football isn’t going to make up for all of the overwhelming disappointments they’ve had to endure but at the same time, it’ll somewhat mend the wounds and fix the whole that so many of us have been feeling. Gareth Southgate especially, who missed a crucial penalty back at Euro 1996 that saw the Three Lions exit the tournament, is looking for redemption – with some believing he’s already found it.
He’s been the right man for the job to help lead this unbelievably talented squad to brighter things which, in our opinion, they’ve been capable of for quite some time.
Some wondered whether or not they possessed the same steel and tenacity as some of their rivals in the Euros but in our view, all they needed was a bit of a push, and the English people have given it to them.
It reminds us a lot of watching Manchester United play from week to week in the Premier League. Some fans don’t like to admit it but they’ll always go after the Red Devils purely out of jealousy stemming from the Sir Alex Ferguson days. This time around, we’re pretty sure the rest of Europe is going to be rooting for Italy – which, obviously, they’re well within their rights to do.
Still, it’s quite funny to see the reaction little old England is getting when all they’re doing is beating the sides that are put in front of them.
Italy have been the best team at Euro 2020 thus far and they aren’t going to care one bit about stepping onto enemy territory in this game. Roberto Mancini has built a team that is capable of beating just about anyone else at this level and if they can get off to a fast start at Wembley on Sunday, they’re going to be really, really hard to beat.
England will need to be solid defensively and they have to get their creative outlets on the ball, because keeping possession and waiting for the moment to strike isn’t going to work against an Italian side who can find openings from just about anywhere.
In terms of an official prediction we do think England should be able to win this one and we think they will, by a tense 2-1 scoreline. Alas, above all else, we’re just happy to see that a nation of their stature is finally back to the big time on the biggest of stages.
Is football coming home? As the minutes tick by, we’re starting to believe that it is.