When England hosted the 1996 Euro, the anthem of FOOTBALL IS COMING HOME had been recited regularly by the English faithful. When it comes to club football, 5 English teams had won the UEFA Club Competition, including the pre-Champion League. Until now, this is the most time that a football club from one country won the UCL. The English Premier League is not hyperbole to say that they are the most-watched and most supported League globally, especially in Asia. Every football fan in the corner of the world knows all the English team competing in the League, from the famous club to the non-top team. However, the success of English club football is not parallel with the national team.
German, Italy, and Spain also have tremendous success in club football; however, there have also been successful national team success, unlike the England national team. English club may have the most UEFA Champion league winner media from a single country; however, they only have the 1966 World Cup for the national team. Since the glorious year, England national team had not reached the final of the World Cup and Euro. The furthest they had gone since the glorious day is the semifinal in 1990 and 2018 World Cup and 1996 Euro only. Therefore, they had not tasted success in the national team since 1966.
The England team has some great players who represented them like Glen Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, etc. These players had achieved tremendous success with their respected club. Once in the early ’90s, they had a remarkable golden generation, but unlike the predecessor in 1966, they could not emulate their success.
The individual brilliance of the opponents, penalty shootout, refereeing decision that is blatant and unacceptable, injury to the key players, loss of concentration in the crucial time and others had been their roadblock and downfall since 1966. The English FA also have hired some great managers like Fabio Capello, Bobby Robson, Terry Venables, and many more. However, still, the major trophies for the national team have eluded them.
Unlike the Germans, Italian, Spanish, and France, England had broken the tradition of hiring a foreigner to be the national team manager. Sven Goran Erickson holds the distinction of becoming the first foreign manager to manage England, a decision that had polarized the English faithful. However, the decision had backfired spectacularly. Even this traditional breaking decision had not provided any silverware for the national team.
The incumbent England manager Gareth Southgate is former players who had the traumatic experience of missing the only penalties that prevent England from reaching the final in the 1996 Euro. However, under his management, England did exceptionally well as they had reached the World Cup semifinal in 2018. He also managed to accomplish a feat that no England manager had ever done before in the World Cup-winning penalty shootout. The shootout win against Colombia in the second round of the 2018 World Cup is the first time England won a penalty shootout in the tournament.
Even though Gareth Southgate does not achieve much silverware as a player, he made history at the club level. He had helped Middlesbrough to win a trophy in their 128-year history when he captained the team to win the League Cup in 2004, and 2 years after, with some group, he had helped them to reach the UEFA Cup final. The UEFA Cup final in 2006 is the final appearance; however, it does not end in victories sending off as Sevilla had defeated Middlesbrough.
He was appointed as the England manager after Sam Allardyce had been fired from his reign as an England manager. In the early stages, the appointment of Southgate is only temporary; however, he was later appointed as a full-time manager.
Unlike the previous generation, they are more talented young players emerging from England capable of playing football in the continental style where possession football and patience had been the name of the game in the continental. However, the traditional British style is still intact in the player resilient and never say die attitude. England national team many lack the silverware, but they never lack any resilience from going down quickly in the major tournament. However, the only time that had eroded is in the 2016 Euro when they crashed out against Iceland in a significant embarrassing moment for the countries.
Gareth Southgate and the current generation of England players are expected to emulate the class of 1966. The iconic image of Bobby Moore lifting the World Cup trophy is still intact in the memories of the current and previous England players and managers. It would be a great spectacle and achievement if England managed to lift their first-ever Euro trophies as they had never reached the final of this competition. However, for every English fan, the trophy draught that the national team contradicted the English club’s performance.
The contradiction of the English club and English national team in the performance had created a polarization of opinion, and the FA still finding the best solution to end these. The English fan from the previous generations waited for so long to see the national team ending the trophy drought. The first time win in the penalty shootout is maybe the sign on great thing to come for the England national team. Gareth Southgate national team mixes an upcoming young player in Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood, Trent Alexander Arnold, and the experienced player like Harry Maguire, Kieren Tippier, Jodan Pickford, and others. This combination is hoped to end the trophies draught for the national team and creating another iconic image like the class of 1966 achieved in the glorious evening in Wembley.