2018 in review: How far have England progressed?

2018 in review: How far have England progressed?

Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Croatia has called time on what has been an incredible calendar year for Gareth Southgate and England. Not too many people expected it in January, but 2018 has become the best year for the England national team since 1996.

Pride in the badge has been restored and there is now a real desire to watch this team play once again.

There is reason for excitement, with there being a glut of exciting young players coming through the ranks combined with a manager that is willing to give them the opportunity to show what they can do. This England side are beginning to play with a confidence and bravery that has ultimately been missing in recent times.

So often players play within themselves in an England shirt, often shirking responsibility and choosing the safe option to avoid the potential scrutiny that can come their way. However, at 1-0 down to Croatia at Wembley on Sunday the team continued to play patiently and waited for their openings to arrive.

Harry Kane England

From Russia With Love

We are starting to see players play as well, if not better for England as they are for their club sides, which was often missing during the times of the Golden Generation. Harry Kane’s winner on Sunday afternoon was the 20th goal he has scored for his country in just 35 caps and, barring injury, looks well on his way to hunting down Wayne Rooney’s record.

Jesse Lingard came from the bench to score yesterday and the Manchester United man has been one of the key members of Southgate’s side in 2018, scoring four goals in 14 appearances. Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling were outstanding in the recent victory over Spain and that certainly bodes well for 2019 and beyond.

Jordan Henderson finally received a level of appreciation during the World Cup, while John Stones and Harry Maguire formed a formidable partnership in Russia, becoming real fan favourites in the process. The likability factor of this England team has made them all the more popular amongst the nation.

However, such is the way of the English press and the often fickle nature of the supporters mean it will only last so long as results are forthcoming. Yet under this management, with the talent within the squad and current confidence that is spiraling through the team it could well continue into 2019.

Perhaps one of the most telling barometers of the current interest in this England side was the atmosphere at Wembley yesterday afternoon. Despite the Nations League lacking barely a level of prestige above a standard World Cup qualifier at this point, supporters really bought into the game and made a level of noise that is so rarely present at England internationals.

Southgate and his team have as well, with the England manager keen to keep the momentum rolling from the World Cup. Even since then it appears as if the team have improved.

England World Cup

Building on the World Cup

For all of the success that came in Russia, it’s easy to forget that England only defeated Tunisia, Panama, Colombia and Sweden in reaching the semi-finals. They faced two top sides in the competition in Belgium and Croatia and lost each meeting, twice falling to the former and lost to Sunday’s opponents in the semi-finals of the tournament.

Since then, England have beaten Spain away from home and took four points from two meetings with Croatia. Beating these sides in the Nations League is an important step forward, but the challenge now comes in trying to beat them when it really matters at World Cups and European Championships.

Everything Southgate and his team do over the next 18 months or so should be building towards Euro 2020 and winning within a ‘competitive’ environment in the Nations League will only be a positive experience for them to take with them.

There was real scepticism when Southgate was originally appointed as manager and even the most optimistic of supporters won’t have anticipated that he would have made such a broad change in such a short space of time. The future of the England team certainly looks bright and there are plenty of reasons to feel excited about what 2019 and beyond holds for this group of players.

Gareth Southgate England

🟢 BET £10 & GET £50 IN FREE BETS FOR FOOTBALL! 🟡
For new customers. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Now
🔵 £40 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE A £10 BET ON FOOTBALL 🔵
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. £10 MINIMUM STAKE. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 4 X £10 BET TOKEN. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS FOR FOOTBALL ONLY. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS AND FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG.
Claim Now
🟢 GET £40 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE A £10 BET ON FOOTBALL + PLUS AN EXTRA £5 BET BUILDER 🟢
Place a single £10 bet on any Football market, at min. odds 1/2 (1.5) - Get £40 in Free bets on bet settlement, valid 30 days + an extra £5 Free Football Bet Builder will be available to claim from the promotions hub. Only deposits via Cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly. 18+.
Claim Now
⚫️ £30 MATCHED FREE BET IF YOUR FIRST ACCA LOSES + 50 BONUS SPINS ⚫️
*New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football or Horse Racing multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 50 Bonus Spins credited on placement of qualifying Acca bet.50x bonus wagering applies as do weighting requirements, bonus Spins only available on selected games and expires 7 days after being awarded. Debit card deposits only (exclusions apply). 18+. BeGambleAware.org. Bet The Responsible Way. Full terms apply. 18+.
Claim Now
🔸 BET £10 ON FOOTBALL AND GET £30 IN FREE BETS FOR THE WORLD CUP! 🔸
New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Claim Now
⚫️ BET £30 & GET A £30 FREE BET FOR FOOTBALL PLUS 20 FREE SPINS! ⚫️
New customers only aged 21+. Minimum deposit £10. Qualifying bet must be placed at odds of evens (2.0) or greater. Get a matched Free bet up to £30 plus 20 Free Spins on Fishin’ Frenzy The Big Catch, credited within 24 hours. Free Bet and Spins expire in 7 days. Additional T&Cs apply. Please bet responsibly.
Claim Now
🟠 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS FOR FOOTBALL! 🟠
*New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from crediting (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org
CLAIM HERE
🔵 BET £10 & GET A £10 FREE BET FOR FOOTBALL! 🔵
18+ / BEGAMBLEAWARE / NEW UK CUSTOMERS ONLY / £10+ DEPOSIT & BET TO QUALIFY / FREE BET VALID FOR 7 DAYS / NO E-WALLETS / PREPAID CARDS / T&CS APPLY
Claim Now
🟩 BET £10 & GET £30 IN FREE BETS FOR FOOTBALL 🟩
New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Now
🔹 GET £30 IN BONUSES FOR FOOTBALL WHEN YOU BET £5! 🔹
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Now
🟣 BET £10 & GET £60 FREE BETS FOR FOOTBALL! 🟣
New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+). First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Now
🌟 GET A FREE BET UP TO £35 FOR FOOTBALL + 10 FREE SPINS 🌟
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free online casino spins at QuinnCasino. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
Claim Now
🟢 UP TO £40 MONEY BACK AS BONUSES FOR FOOTBALL + A £10 CASINO BONUS 🟢
18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first sports bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Visit Unibet.co.uk for full T&C's. #Ad
Claim Now
🎩 BET £5 ON FOOTBALL & GET £30 IN BONUSES! 🎩
18+ New customers only. Opt in and bet £5 on any football market at odds 2.00+ in 7 days. No cash out. Get 3x £10 football free bets for set events. Free bets expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. Begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Now
🔵 BET £10 ON & GET £20 IN FREE BETS FOR FOOTBALL + ACCA REWARDS OF YOUR CHOICE! 🔵
New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&C's Apply **18+. Choose either Boost or Insurance. Available for in-play/pre-match bets on selected sports. You cannot use specials, boosts, any free bet or any other promotion. A minimum of 5 selections and minimum odds of 1/5 per selection/leg to receive Acca Rewards. Minimum stake of £/€0.05. Max free bet refund of £/€20 per Acca for Insurance. Maximum bonus payout is €/£1,000 per Acca for boost. Free bets, cashed out or voided bets will not qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Now
♥️ GET £40 FREE PLAY PLUS A £10 FREE SPORTS BET FOR FOOTBALL! ♥️
1st time depositors only. Min. deposit £10. Use code FAPOKER. Free Play given as cash, Spin & Go tickets, and a Sports Free Bet over 6 days. Tickets expire after 24 hours. Withdrawal restricted during bonus period. Terms apply.
Claim Now
🔵 GET £20 IN FREE BETS FOR FOOTBALL WHEN YOU BET £5! 🔵
18+ New UK & ROI Customers only. Min deposit £5. Min first £5 bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x 20 free bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excl. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Now
🔴 GET £20 IN FREE BETS FOR FOOTBALL WHEN YOU BET £5! 🔴
18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Now
🔷 GET £66 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £19 ON FOOTBALL 🔷
Full T&Cs Apply. New customers only. Stake min amount of £19 (odds 1.8 or greater) on any sporting event. Promotion available between 14/11/22 - 01/12/22. Max 4 x £10, 4 x £5, 1x £6 Free Bets credited on qualifying bet settlement on selected events. 1x claim per customer. Void, cashed out, partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Each Way bets, system bets and profit boost are not permitted for qualifying bet. Free bets are non-withdrawable & not returned with winnings. Free bets expire after 7 days of qualifying bet settlement. 18+ BeGambleAware.org.
Claim Now
👋 50% UP TO £50 WELCOME BONUS 👋
18+ begambleaware.org; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms; See full terms; Terms apply; 18+
Claim Now