The presence of some of the world’s best coaches in the Premier League can only help the national side in Russia
July 4 1990 was the first time football broke my heart. I was six years old and spent three magical and exciting weeks watching England progress through the World Cup in Italy enthralled by Gary Lineker’s goals, the dribbles of Chris Waddle and Peter Beardsley and the sheer raw genius of Gazza before West Germany killed the dream and the euphoria was replaced by sobbing. The whole nation mourned that day and some would say it was yet another ‘welcome to being an England fan’ moment.
As a nation we haven’t reached a World Cup semi-final since but when the tears had dried and I grew up I reflected on 1990 as a moment which restored pride and joy to English football after the stadium disasters at Heysel and Hillsborough and the negativity of a hooligan element which had dragged our reputation to an embarrassing low. Our record in the most recent tournaments has been poor and has led to a palpable lack of expectation regarding what we might achieve in Russia in the next few weeks.