Could football be coming home?

As we countdown to the England V Panama match on Sunday do we dare hope football could be coming home – our bloggers give their view…

 

Amelia West

My name is Amelia and the World Cup has already taken over my life. But I don’t care –  I’m loving it. Managed to catch a peek at coverage of every game so far.

My diary is now based around the remaining schedule – don’t call me I’ll call you, after I have checked the time of the next kick-off (the boss will be reading this so honestly just in the name of research). 
 
Can anyone blame me? The action so far has delivered from Ronaldo’s spine-tingling hat-trick to few of the top teams getting their own way in a series of surprise results. That is in itself a result for the fans.
 
To top it off England enjoyed an opening match win. I’m sure there’s plenty sounding the warning bells over missed chances and lack of energy in the second half (all true) but do you know what I am going to channel my inner-Iceland fan her and just celebrate this game for what it was. A win which landed after a weekend in which many of the favourites failed to record similar bragging rights.
 
I wish we had our own thunderclap – that’s what the world cup spirit is all about and it’s time we England fans rediscovered it a little bit. Hope is something that goes hand-in-hand with this event and I am starting to hope.
 
 After going out on Saturday night and witnessing full pubs and group after group chanting “footballs coming home” I am starting to believe that this year, football will be coming home.  It’s good – it feels so good.
 
It was easy to see how much that extra time header which put England back in front meant to the coaching staff with Southgate celebrating in spectacular style on the side-line. There has been so much talk about how there is very little pressure on the England team to perform well this tournament, this approach towards the tournament seems to have worked in England’s favour as they looked strong with little pressure on their shoulders. 
 
Monday’s match was the most watched event of the 2018 so far with an average audience of 13.7 million. England next play on Sunday again – and for now I plan on enjoying this like it’s 1966 all over again. To just enjoy being there and all it brings could just see this team do better than we ever expected.

 

 

Nathan Hughes

I‘ve got to be honest, I thought the chances of me actually having to write a second one of these were slimmer than Panama winning the tournament. And yet, twenty games, forty two goals and ten spot kicks later it’s hard to believe it was only a mere six days ago that I was watching this whole world cup lark from the bench!

 

It certainly has been a whirlwind first week with underdogs trumping the big guns on almost every occasion. Argentina drew against Iceland (whose goal keeper is a film director as his day job… I wonder if you can guess who I was rooting for?), Brazil drew against Switzerland and all the German precision and efficiency in the world wasn’t enough to hold off the mighty Mexicans as they were beaten 1-0.

 

Not too shabby from my sweepstake teams then with a win and a draw however, Poland seem to be letting the side down a little as they became one of five teams to score an own goal which ultimately led to their defeat against Senegal. As i’m writing this, my fourth team, Iran, currently sit at the top of their group with a game against Spain this evening and Portugal next Monday so things are very much all to play for.

 

Closer to home, England are off to a flying start this week with captain Harry Kane’s injury time goal against Tunisia gaining us three points and our third ever win in a world cup opening game. With our next game against Panama on Sunday looking set to go smoothly it could very well be that we see England clamber out of the groups and actually have a decent stab at this competition. Their performance against Tunisia was admirable and despite the opposition attempting every dirty trick in the book, from blocking free kicks and rugby tackling to faking injuries and getting rewarded with penalties for it, sportsmanship and quality play still managed to come out on top.

 

I must say now, that I am totally aware that I seem to sound like I know what I’m talking about. However with the amount of football i’ve consumed in the last week it’s hardly surprising… It’s on the office radio every day and on the TV every night and as my enthusiasm for it continues to grow I’m certainly not complaining.

 

Of course, don’t panic as that will all change once England are eliminated and everything will go back to normal.

 

 

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