For the first time in 58 years, England have been dumped out of the World Cup in the first round.
It’s a major blow to the team and the fans, and one that is barely softened by the news that – at the time of writing – Spain, Croatia, and Italy have also gone out in the first round.
It’s even taken me a few days to be able to write about it, which is odd.
It’s not the first time I’ve had to watch England make an early exit from a cup tournament, nor is it my first experience with watching a team constantly lose; I support West Ham, so I’m used to not winning.
What’s so hard to swallow about this is that this is the first World Cup we approached realistically. We knew we couldn’t win it, and so we never pretended we would. What hurts is that for once we had a chance to do something different, exciting, and new, and that in itself brought an understated enthusiasm to the England fans and team.
Unfortunately, that didn’t translate in to results. England lost marginally – by but one goal on each occasion, and were the only team in the group not to lose to eventual group leaders Costa Rica.
The style of football, whilst exciting in attack, didn’t allow for the defending needed to move on in the tournament. Roy Hodgson tried something new and exciting with his team selections, and I’m so disappointed for the team and for the fans that it didn’t work out.
Having said that, England are now on the edge of a new era.
A lot of the football they played this year was still rather painful to watch, particularly when considering the back four, but equally – there is hope for the future.
Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling brought a liveliness and attacking passion to the England team – something that has been sorely missing for years.
Ross Barkley and Adam Lallana brought pace, spark and creativity to the side. One wistfully wonders what the World Cup would have been like for us had Alex Oxalade-Chamberlain been involved.
Whilst I have a lot of respect for what Steven “Slippy G” Gerrard has done for England, the future is younger and brighter than England’s present tense, and we didn’t get it right this time – but come the Euros in 2016, England really will be a team to watch.
What did you make of the World Cup exit? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFooyettes.