Well who seen that performance coming from Gareth Southgate’s men last night? I certainly didn’t.
Hand on heart, I fully expected England to get a footballing lesson from the Spanish in their Nations League fixture. Luis Enrique’s men are widely regarded as one of the top teams in Europe, if not the world, and not too many gave England much of a chance last night.
England’s magnificent and well deserved 3-2 win over the Spanish in Sevilla, now sees them as 8/1 joint fourth favourites to win Euro 2020, and they are between 10/1 and 16/1 to win the 2022 world cup in Qatar.
Given the age of Southgate’s squad, and the quality of the youngsters coming through England’s youth sides, they could be a good each way bet for the next world cup.
England’s next – and final – Nations League fixture is at home to Croatia on 18th November, where a victory could yet see them progress to the final stages next summer. That’s quite a turnaround considering all the talk ahead of Friday’s match away in Croatia was of relegation out of the top group at the first time of asking.
I don’t think anyone – who has followed England over recent times – in their wildest dreams could have predicted last night’s performance, particularly in the 1st half.
One observation to take from the match, and England’s performances as a whole of late under Southgate, and this is not a criticism – is their habit of falling away a touch in the second half.
They did it in friendlies pre world cup, at the world cup – most notably in the semi-final against Croatia, and it happened again last night.
It was understandable that Spain would put England under pressure in the second half, as it was that Croatia would come back in a world cup semi-final but if England are to progress and become a really top side, this is an issue that they need to address. It could be a simple case that it happens with experience.