LONDON. — General sentiment has been that, after exiting the Soccer World Cup at the hands of Croatia in Moscow, England have an impressive young team capable of getting even better ahead of the 2022 tournament in Qatar.
Yet this narrative of a British nation raising their pints and beaming with pride at even reaching the final four perhaps disguises the true reality of their progress made in the competition.
Of England’s 12 goals scored in Russia, nine came from set-pieces- either from corner kicks, penalties or Kieran Trippier’s superb free kick against the Croatians.
In addition, two of the three strikes scored from open play came against Panama, who were arguably one of the worst teams in the tournament alongside Saudi Arabia.
In the opening 2-1 win against Tunisia, Gareth Southgate’s men were laboured and struggled to break down a very average side before Harry Kane’s header rescued them in injury time from a corner. — AFP