Rod Liddle

Euro 2020: England shouldn’t get too excited

Euro 2020: England shouldn't get too excited
(Getty images)
Text settings

Ingerlund: 1 (Sterling)

Czechia: 0


Croatia: 3 (people with name ending in 'itch')

Scotland 1 (Jimmy)

A little better, solely because of changes in the team largely enforced upon old Horseface.

Jack Grealish started because the hitherto largely ineffective Phil Foden is carrying a booking. Arsenal’s starlet Bukayo Saka was in the team largely because Mason Mount was in quarantine for having hugged a Scotsman (Never do it. Like handling a hedgehog, you never know what you might catch).

These two players transformed England and between them created the game’s only goal, for Raheem Sterling. In that first 45 minutes, England looked quite competent, but then sat back on their lead and became the England with which we are more familiar. You have to go back six games for the last time England scored more than one goal in a match.

The first half improvement should be matched against the fact that the Czechs, knowing they were through, played with the verve and ambition of a recently gassed badger.

England will now face one of Portugal, France, Germany or – if the Gods of football go doolally again like they did with Denmark – Hungary.

The Scots are out because they aren’t any good.