Euro 2016 day 18: Same old problems, same old England
I am still a fan of England, though I am not at all surprised they were well beaten by Iceland. (A real fan stands by you in the rainy days, and it rains a lot in England.)
In the world of football, in the past half century or so, Italy has its up-and-downs, but it seems to me they almost never lose their class. Even at probably their lowest point in the last World Cup, they were still hard to beat. And it seems Italy always finds a way to regain their top-class status pretty soon.
England is not the same. They have become a mediocre team for so long. The 1990 World Cup is already their best performance in the past three decades, but even then they were not that convincing. The world had high expectation of the so-called golden generation of Beckham, Gerrard, Scholes, Owen and Ferdinand, but they repeatedly failed to rise to the occasion. Well, they were good, but as a team not that good after all, still a class away from the very top.
Iceland is amazing. A country of only 0.33 million people and bankrupt after the 2008 financial crisis, they show you what a small nation with heart and vitality can do.
England in the 1990 World Cup
England in Munich in September 2001, the Golden Generation