While England fans across the world are dealing with their disappointment of not making it home, one can quickly forget the high of the adventure the Three Lions had in Russia. England being England this wasn't really expected from them before the start of the World Cup. All everyone was hoping for was the team avoid disappointment, the way they did in the last few international tournaments, especially in the way they lost out to Iceland at the European Championships in France two years ago and their acrimonious World Cup exit in 2014 in the group stages.
This is an England side that has shown a different side to their game, played like there was no pressure, yet delivered results. They did fall short of glory against an equally talented and tireless Croatia side, but they have reached heights from where they should not stop to look down for any reason whatsoever.
They might have talented players on their side, but England traditionally is the most criticised team in the media, and above anything else, it was commendable how this team rose above expectations to, ignore all media speculation and play their A-game. This should be the blueprint for the future rather than criticising the team for its shortcomings. Let's look at what lies ahead for England.One For The Future
While the last World Cup might have seen the end of many essential and experienced players, who had even in the past failed their nation on many levels. However, this England side of the 2018 FIFA World Cup is not giving up anytime soon. Gareth Southgate's team is relatively young and energetic, ready to take on new challenges in the future and if the performances in Russia are of any considerations, then they are more likely to win future tournaments, challenging the established order.
This side has the age factor by their side, an up-and-coming manager in Gareth Southgate and a squad, captained by the formidable Harry Kane, ready to play a big part, at least in another two European Championships and a World Cup. The future definitely looks bright.On The Right Track
In the next major tournaments, England might not be able to call upon few players like Gary Cahill or Ashley young considering their current age, but taking in account the average age of many stars in the team there is a greater scope of progression. Unlike the last World Cup when stars like Lampard, Gerrard and Rooney were the real leaders of the group, as was John Terry, all of who have now retired.
Back then the transition in replacing them was a problematic task compared to the present situation. England currently has time on their hands to integrate the next generation stars into the current team and on the other side bid adieu to the falling stars without stressing too much about replacing them.
The current crop of players will be in a better position than their predecessors to integrate fresh players into the setup and are looking at a future much like how Germany did back in 2002. This will reap the great rewards for the future.Breaking The 28-Year-Old Jinx
England's only World Cup victory came back in 1966, that is 52 years ago, while they had reached the semi-final stage only once after back in 1990. Since then the team has seen a weird regression from promised progression at every major tournament they have played since. Of late they were also known as the team of the quarterfinals for their many exits during that stage of competitions.
This English side broke the jinx of underperformance and soundly reached the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. From a fan's perspective, they fell short and disappointed them rather than bringing it home. But as fans, everyone should look at this side with appreciation rather than disappointment, for they have laid down the marker for future tournaments and mark these words carefully, we possibly are looking at future champions, either in Europe, World or both, considering they keep up this glorious form of theirs.