Got your lucky pants ready for England v Ukraine on Saturday? | Rick Jackson

If I hear the phrase ‘it’s coming home’ again I swear I’m going to scream!

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 4:54 pm
WELCOME: About the nearest England fans will get to 'coming home' for a while, according to Rick. Picture: Shutterstock
WELCOME: About the nearest England fans will get to 'coming home' for a while, according to Rick. Picture: Shutterstock

Nothing is coming home just yet, as once again, England fans get too carried away.

Can we dare to dream? Yes we can, but we must remain focused and realistic.

Ukraine will be a tough nut to crack, Denmark have proved what a good team they are and the Czech Republic will be all fired up.

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England are without doubt the perennial under-achievers. It used to be Spain, but after winning the Euros and the World Cup, they passed that title to us.

We have the richest league in the world; the Champions League final was between two English teams and another reached the UEFA Cup final, so why don’t we have the best national team?

English players are definitely over-valued. This is why many don’t play abroad as they aren’t as technically gifted. But they still command top dollar. Dele Ali valued at £75m is just one example.

You look at every other national team and many of their players play abroad where they gain extra experience professionally and culturally.

You also limit the team rivalry.

What let down the ‘Golden Generation’? Manchester United and Liverpool players not getting on. The same for Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Egos let them down too, although it does seem the egos of the Beckham era have gone. No one in the current squad stands out as a ‘superstar’ which for me is to the team’s great benefit.

Have we played our best football yet?

Perhaps we have and playing defensively is the best way to get our team through?

Greece, who won this competition in 2004, were also-rans but won the tournament by being hard to beat.

So yes, we can dare to dream, but my experience of following England since 1986 is of over-hyped failure.

John Barnes was no ‘masterplan’ and in 1996 it didn’t come home, or every two years afterwards when that song kept re-appearing.

Sorry to be so negative.

Let’s enjoy the win against Germany, but keep those lucky pants out ready for Saturday!

Last of the great romantics opts for KFC copper bucket

Today is my ninth wedding anniversary. Copper. Who on earth came up with that and what can I get her which doesn’t look like I’ve tried to buy something for the house?

Why couldn’t they come up with something easier, like pink gin? he’d like that far much more than a copper toaster.

Thing is, it’s not about us any more, it’s about our two children, but a card, some flowers and a meal out is all we really need. To be honest after the year we’ve all had, it’s all we really want. I think even a bargain bucket at KFC would suffice as long as we had a meal without our children! If you hear a loud explosion tonight followed by multiple sirens, you’ll know I’ve taken her to KFC.

Dad! You cannot be serious... Take off that stupid headband

The school run. It’s been pretty easy so far. Both kids go to the same school so drop off and pick up have been a walk in the park.

Yes we’ve had the odd issue with parking or the dog annoying people, but otherwise it’s been fine.

But in September Freddie moves to junior school. We’ll have a 10-minute sprint from picking up Holly to getting Freddie.

I’m already in training. My walking trainers are being worn in as we speak and I’ve ordered Lycra trousers, a waterproof mac and a headband. How on earth am I expected to get Holly past the sweet shop on the way to get Freddie in the allotted time I have no idea.

Thankfully, if all else fails, there’s also a pub!

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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