By Owen Amos
For the archetypal clip since 1966, England's men's shot squad has reached the last of a large tournament.
More than 23 cardinal radical watched the 2-1 semi-final triumph implicit Denmark, with the TV assemblage for Sunday's last against Italy expected to beryllium adjacent bigger. But arsenic shot dominates the nationalist conversation, however does the caller oregon non-football instrumentality cope?
It's coming home
A operation immortalised successful Three Lions - the opus released erstwhile England (the location of football, of course) hosted the European Championship successful 1996. Just aft the location broadside was knocked retired successful the semi-final, the opus deed the apical of the charts for the 2nd time, and it has returned to the nationalist consciousness successful each tourney since.
Do say: What a tune! Frank Skinner and David Baddiel's opus is simply a heartwarming anthem astir an English fan's anticipation and despair. They are football's Lennon and McCartney! I bash not resent them having tickets for each match.
Don't say: Isn't it each a spot jingoistic? And of course, shot wasn't really invented successful England, simply codified present successful the 19th Century, truthful this isn't truly location astatine all.
The trophy that England lifted successful 1966 erstwhile they won the World Cup, was successful 1946 named aft the French erstwhile president of Fifa, which is the sport's governing body, having primitively been called Victory. The trophy is namechecked successful the chorus of Three Lions.
Do say: Three Lions connected a shirt, Jules Rimet inactive gleaming.
Don't say: Three Lions connected a shirt, jewels remain inactive gleaming.
England's winning extremity successful Wednesday's semi-final against Denmark came aft a arguable penalty, erstwhile the Dutch referee - and his adjunct watching connected TV - decided that midfielder Raheem Sterling had been fouled successful the 18-yard box.
Do say: There was decidedly interaction - not once, but doubly - and besides, we were dominating the game. A extremity was coming.
Don't say: Why did helium autumn implicit truthful easily? You would ne'er spot a rugby subordinate bash that. Perhaps they should replay the game?
Midfielder/forward Jack Grealish is 1 of England's astir breathtaking players, but has started lone 1 crippled successful the tournament, thing debated astatine magnitude by fans crossed the country.
Do say: Grealish dribbles beautifully and makes things hap - but don't question England squad brag Gareth Southgate. The manager knows what he's doing.
Don't say: Oh - you mean the 1 with a hairband who falls implicit a lot? To beryllium honest, I'm indifferent arsenic to whether helium plays oregon not. Not bothered.
England's likeable manager is simply a erstwhile subordinate who, successful 1996, missed the important punishment successful the semi-final against Germany, ensuring the trophy did not "come home".
Do say: He's much than a manager - he's a kind, intelligent, and empathetic ambassador for a caller procreation of down-to-earth footballers. Makes you arrogant to beryllium English.
Don't say: You bash know, successful his lone absorption occupation successful nine football, helium really got Middlesbrough relegated from the Premier League.
As good arsenic Three Lions, England fans sing Sweet Caroline (by Neil Diamond), the nationalist anthem (not by Neil Diamond), and, for reasons not afloat known, Whole Again, the 5th azygous from early-2000s English miss radical Atomic Kitten.
Do say: Southgate you're the one, you inactive crook maine on, football's coming location again.
Don't say: Turn maine on? Is that due to sing astir a 50-year-old shot manager who looks similar a palmy - but not excessively palmy - concatenation store determination manager?
England's lone large trophy came successful 1966, erstwhile they bushed West Germany 4-2 successful the World Cup last astatine Wembley. Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick; Bobby Moore lifted the trophy; Kenneth Wolstenholme, the TV commentator, said: "They deliberation it's each implicit - it is now." You whitethorn person heard the crippled mentioned erstwhile oregon doubly since then.
Do say: Harry Kane is the caller Bobby Moore; Raheem Sterling is the caller Geoff Hurst; Jordan Pickford mightiness - astatine a agelong - beryllium the caller Gordon Banks.
Don't say: Did different countries adjacent play shot successful 1966? Was it the World Cup oregon the Euros? And however agelong agone was that anyway?
The chorus of Three Lions - that opus again - goes: Three Lions connected a garment / Jules Rimet inactive gleaming / 30 years of wounded / Never stopped maine dreaming.
The timepiece is inactive ticking, and it's present 55 years since 1966.
Do say: 2021 could go a twelvemonth that - similar 1966 - evokes an image, a memory, a feeling, each of its own. A milestone successful English history. A totemic moment. And we were there.
Don't say: Technically the wounded didn't commencement until 1968, erstwhile we were knocked retired of the European Championship - our archetypal large tourney aft 1966 - truthful truly it's lone 53 years of hurt...
Since England's archetypal lucifer successful 1872 (a 0-0 gully against Scotland) they person worn a badge featuring 3 lions - itself taken from the past royal arms of England. Since 1996, the Three Lions has been utilized by immoderate arsenic a nickname for the English team.
Do say: Just seeing the badge makes makes my hairs basal up - elemental but elegant; past but timeless; a beauteous baton being passed done generations of arrogant Englishmen and women.
Don't say: Are lions adjacent autochthonal to England? Wouldn't Three Cows beryllium better? Or adjacent Three Red Squirrels?
Football teams mostly enactment up with 4 dedicated defenders oregon three. It's a substance of choice. England person utilized some systems successful the tourney truthful far, and could usage either successful the final.
Do say: It's truly refreshing to spot an England squad capable to power betwixt formations truthful easily. Kyle Walker, who tin play right-back oregon centre-back, is truly important here.
Don't say: Why not play 8 defenders, past no-one could people past them?
If the scores successful the last against Italy are level aft 90 minutes, 30 minutes of extra-time is played. If it's inactive level, the lucifer is decided by a punishment shootout - each squad taking 5 penalties apiece, and past going to sudden-death if neither broadside is ahead. England person been knocked retired of six large tournaments successful this mode (1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006 and 2012) and won a shootout lone doubly (1996, successful an earlier match, and 2018).
Do say: We bushed Colombia successful 2018 connected penalties. It's a caller era. The modern-day England subordinate has the method and mentality to withstand the pressure.
Don't say: Didn't Harry Kane really miss his punishment against Denmark connected Wednesday? And too - wherefore bash they request penalties? If it's a draw, fto them stock the trophy. That way, no-one has to miss similar Southgate successful 1996. And what's a fewer much years of hurt, anyway...