SUBJECT: History. TASK: Ending 55 years of hurt. MARK: 6/10
With their youngest ever tournament squad, perhaps the past weighs less heavily on the shoulders of the Southgate’s players. Certainly the future looks promising. But with every step, pressure will increase and the experience gained through those club achievements will be tested to the full.
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SUBJECT: Homeschooling. TASK: Schooling teams at home like in lockdown. MARK: 4/10
Ultimately, the Wembley factor is going to have to be massive to get England over the line. Provided they can win in Rome, every other game in this campaign will be under the giant arch. Three times in the first four halves they were booed off the pitch. The fans – an increased number of them, it turns out – have their part to play.
OVERALL ASSESSMENT: A solid if unspectacular start. Will need to work harder to attain the levels expected of them. As always. But fans can play a part…