World Cup diary: England can bring football ‘home’

James Robbins (left)
James Robbins (left)
Pupils, parents and teachers celebrate the new England manager Gareth Southgate attended Padnell Infant School. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Cowplain school celebrates finding out England manager Gareth Southgate attended

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ENGLAND fan James Robbins has been out in Russia following Gareth Southgate’s team for the World Cup - and believes we have a great chance of ‘bringing football home’ if we beat Croatia tonight in the semi-final.

I don't want to put the cart in front of the horse but we have a great chance of football coming home. If we got past Croatia I had hoped we would play Belgium instead of France.

It might sound strange to some but despite their wealth of talent and the result earlier in the tournament I believe we are better than them and would have fancied us beating them. That’s academic now after they lost last night. If we triumph against Croatia tonight I feel less confident about us beating France who are coming into form at the right time.

But before we can even think about that we have to beat Croatia - a side who have shown their resilience by winning two penalty shoot-outs and beating Argentina 3-0 so it won’t be easy

They have some class players which should make for a really intriguing game. People laugh at me when I say this but despite seeing Lionel Messi and Luiz Suarez live, Croatia’s Ivan Rakitic is the best player I have ever seen play live while Luca Modric next to him orchestrates everything Croatia do.

Playing Sweden went exactly how I thought it would - from the first moment there was only going to be one winner. The Swedes were just a slightly better version of Tunisia by hitting us on the counter.

We were just carving them open at will and from a fan point of view it was so encouraging to see a team looking to score more instead of just settling.

I’m sure we’ll look to do the same to Croatia tonight but they will be more of threat so we will need all our resilience and expertise from set plays - that could be the difference again. They could also win us the World Cup.