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.