Wednesday, July 11, 2018

England's right to expect (updated)

Unless something goes disastrously wrong – and I don’t just mean losing - England will be heroes in the papers tomorrow morning. By heroes, I mean, they have made it to the World Cup Final or put up a suitably valiant fight in the process. Either way, having created a dream, most of the media will want to live it just a little longer, win or lose.

That’s because, again, most editors know a thing or two about judging the public mood and will be thinking of returning heroes, rather than also rans who faltered at the final fence.

Optimism is not just something to tap into and build on but to milk for as long as it can be. Think welcoming crowds at the airport, for a start.

When Terry Venables’ England lost our last semi-final (to Germany in Euro 96 when Gareth Southgate missed) they were lauded heroes all the same because they’d given us a party no-one wanted to end.

A far cry from when Glenn Hoddle’s side went out to Argentina in the ’98 World Cup. Piers Morgan’s Mirror even recreated a dartboard with David Beckham as the bullseye for a tantrum that reduced us to 10 men and effectively dumped us out.

But for now at least, everyone’s a winner.

Ain fact, as I write, the Sky News ticker is reminding us that “1966 was the last time England won the world Cup”.

Post-match update: see below...