No one’s claiming England have the best talent in the World Cup. Or that this is the best England team of the last... well, since they last made the World Cup semifinal, 28 years ago. They’re certainly not saying that this is a Golden Generation.
What people are saying is that Gareth Southgate has selected a group of mostly younger players who aren’t scarred (or scared!) by England’s past failures. That he’s got them organized and pulling together. And perhaps even more importantly, he’s kept them loose and feeling positive.
Which probably explains why Ruben Loftus-Cheek was running around England training clutching a rubber chicken ahead of Wednesday’s showdown with Croatia.
This is what great man-management looks like, apparently.
Good luck, the Three Lions!