The newly reconstructed England Football Squad cautiously opened their account in the Group Stage of the World Cup with a 2:1 win against Tunisia on Monday 18th June. These young lads must surely have bee aware of the global interest they were drawing on this world stage. Their confidence and composure grew during the game.
With the first win behind them, it was a slightly different story for England’s second game against Panama, played yesterday (Sunday 24th). I counted six pages coverage in the Guardian, including front and back pages. What a delight, what a magnificent performance, particularly in the first half.[row][half]England did not reduce their level of play to that of the opposition, instead they stepped up, and that’s how it should be. The sixth goal was scored on the back of 25 uninterrupted passes, this is the longest sequence of passes for a world-cup goal since 1966. England did not rise to the physical intimidation of the opposition, instead they rose above it, played around it and dominated the game. That’s the way it must be. That’s football, call it out! [/half][half]
Post match interviews provided a calm consistency in the messaging from players and manager. They are playing to win each and every match. Beat Belgium and bring on Germany or Brazil. They are going for all or nothing in the next round. In the mean time their performance in the last two games (especially with yesterdays 6-1 win) offer quiet redemption for the England national football team and a statement of intent and confidence from this young and promising squad.