Soccer got here house all proper. England simply did not win the event.
It is no shame.
Italy can declare to be the excellent crew of the Euro 2020, and are worthy winners.
The guard of honour they fashioned as England went to gather their silver medals was a pleasant contact, and in step with a event which delivered for essentially the most half a feelgood issue the continent wanted after the final 16 months.
During the last 4 weeks, Gareth Southgate and his crew have cemented their reconnection with the general public.
At first of his 37-second message to the nation on the morning of the ultimate, he stated “We hope that we have represented you in the appropriate approach.”
They’ve. It issues. And it helps now, as England (nation and crew) struggles to cope with extra penalty heartbreak.
It should mitigate the flak the supervisor will obtain over his selections for the shootout.
It is exhausting to criticise him for placing his religion in the identical younger males whose praises we now have sung for the previous month.
Bringing on substitutes close to the tip of additional time particularly to take penalties within the shootout is just not uncommon – however it’s a calculated danger.
It misfired badly right here as Marcus Rashford – nonetheless solely 23 – and 21-year outdated Jadon Sancho each failed from the spot.
Rashford, who regarded as “chilly” as you may anticipate for a person who had sat on the bench for 119 minutes, hit the put up.
A few inches to the appropriate, and we’d very properly have had a unique end result. The 55 years of damage might need ended proper right here. And Bukayo Saka wouldn’t have had fairly the identical stress on his 19-year outdated shoulders.
Saka’s shot was saved, and Southgate rushed to offer consolation because the Arsenal ahead broke down in tears.
“It is all the way down to me,” the supervisor stated. “I made the alternatives.”
The FA expects to increase Southgate’s contract past the tip of subsequent 12 months’s World Cup in Qatar, a contest for which England can now anticipate to be among the many favourites.
Of England’s squad of 26 right here, solely Kyle Walker and Jordan Henderson are over 30, so each considered one of them will doubtless stay in competition, and the kids can be a season-and-a-half extra battle-hardened.
The outlook is shiny, and the nation can be with the crew to a better extent than previously, regardless of the racism geared toward some gamers on social media and swiftly condemned by the FA.
Equally vital for the long term, the manufacturing line of younger expertise will proceed to ship, due to the category of 2021.
“It is vital,” stated Southgate earlier than the ultimate, “that folks can say to their children: ‘We’re fairly completely satisfied so that you can be a Raheem, a Marcus, a Kalvin Phillips or whoever they is perhaps’, as a result of they stand for the appropriate issues off the pitch in addition to on it.”
In the long run, that issues greater than whether or not England completed first or second on the Euros, even when it does not really feel like that this morning to these children up and down the land, or the marginally older children who practically delivered the trophy.
Soccer did come house.