It’s like that first real drink of the evening, England going out of a tournament.
All of that tension falls off your shoulders and the world rights itself. We hardly knew how bad we’d been feeling until it was over.
And the football suddenly gets better. Remember Euro 2000? I caught this one in the Hand in Hand in Wimbledon, and fell in love with the game all over again. A real Golden Generation’s golden moment:
When no home nations make it, you can forget all the worry about winning and just enjoy the football. England missed Euro 1984 too. France didn’t:
There’s still time for many of these England players. Not for Lampard, who will be 33 come the next World Cup. But Rooney, Defoe, Crouch, Barry, Gerrard, the Cole brothers, Owen and co. will be around. England weren’t at the 1994 World Cup, but here is the ’94 game in which Roger Milla, at 42, became the oldest player to appear and score in a Finals match:
After ten years in the South London/Surrey borders, I’ve overdosed on White Van Man and won’t miss what would have been the inevitable revival of the debate about the carrying of plastic St George flags. But I’m sorry for Steve McClaren. He’d just found his feet in that most difficult of jobs. But at least he’s spared the even more appalling spotlight that comes with tournament finals.
Another drink, anyone? And maybe a trip out of town..