Euro 2016: Group B – England v Russia

Why is it that when it comes to international tournaments England invariably contrive to shoot themselves in the foot?  After huffing and puffing, harrying and hustling, and doing everything but putting the ball in the net, England eventually got their deserved goal and it seemed that at long last they would win their opening match in a European Championship.  It was a Tottenham trio who were responsible for unlocking the door.  Dele Alli won a free kick right on the edge of the box; Harry Kane sold a dummy, and Eric Dier drove the free kick home.

All England had to do now in a match they had completely controlled was to keep doing what they had been doing.  Instead, they conceded a stupid, freaky, loopy header at the death to draw a match they should have easily won.  Typical stupid, naive England.  Every major tournament has some kind of England sob story.  The truth is for all their domination England lacked a cutting edge.  It is a shame Roy Hodgson didn’t bring on Jamie Vardy.  The game was crying out for his sharp shooting skills in front of goal.  Russia got one chance and the ball went in.  Playing well means nothing if you drop two points.

What’s worse is the thought of smug, gloating Welsh fans enjoining bragging rights over England – at least until Thursday.  Let’s hope England bring their shooting boots and redeem themselves against their noisy neighbours.  All will be forgiven and forgotten if they beat Wales on Thursday.

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