It's not coming home.

Not in the way all of England wanted anyway. Football, by nature, is a cruel cruel game. The world's worst mistress it's been called.

The last-second equalisier, the dodgy dive for a penalty, robbed by the VAR, the Russian linesman in '66, the Hand of God in '86…it's a sport perfectly made for the absolute extremes of fan emotion.

Elation, glory, happiness and jubilation. Deflation, defeat, despair and desolation.

Advertisement

England's fairytale is over because, in fact, that's what it was. A fairytale.


Make no mistake Gareth Southgate's side have over-achieved massively at this World Cup. They simply aren't, haven't been and never were that good. They snuck past Tunisia with an injury time winner, beat a Panamanian side the Phoenix would've beaten, lost to Belgium B, eased past Colombia on penalties then despatched an average Swedish outfit to make the semis.

Let's be honest. An ordinary England side have had a carpet ride. And we all rode along with them because it was fun, it was exciting. They were the unlikely underdogs for once and we loved it.

So football's not coming home, England are going home. But this time there are no controversies, refereeing blunders, disputed calls, what ifs, could be should bes not even good old bad luck.

England are out of the World Cup because, very simply, they weren't good enough.