After sampling the ‘delights’ of a packed out Elland Road for the final friendly warm-up match against Costa Rica, the Three Lions faithful should be absolutely buzzing. Not only did they beat Costa Rica 2-0 but they showed everyone in attendance and the millions watching around the world that there are five-and-a-half reasons why England are going to win the World Cup.
1. Marcus Rashford
Coming off the back of a campaign where Marcus Rashford has been asked to play as a wing back by Manchester United Dictator Manager Joseph Mourinho, it looks as though Rashford has been storing all of his skill and guile in reserve for the World Cup.
Not only did the explosive young forward delight the crowd with a ‘Flip-Flap’ so good it sent the entire Costa Rica backline for a hot dog…
…he scored an absolute worldie that Cristiano Messiahimovic would have been proud of:
(Currently 150/1 on the Betfair odds to win world cup market to finish top goal scorer – free money anyone?)
There has been a debate raging for years about how you fit all of our top-tier players into an effective starting line-up. Fans have been arguing Lampard over Gerrard, the benefits of Scholes and Carrick and whether we can afford to get a plane with wheelchair access to accommodate Jack Wilshere at the tournament.
Image Source: https://metro.co.uk
At first glance England’s 3-3-2-2 formation against Costa Rica looked like someone was trying too hard to show they’ve got tactical nous but it actually worked. England played a team that wasn’t 472nd or below in world rankings and didn’t lose. Not only that, they’ve solved the conundrum of slotting the best of the best into a starting line up with Fabian Delph, Eric Dier and Danny Welbeck all playing together and bossing the proceedings.
3. Dele Alli
If you listened to any Tottenham supporter, they’d tell you that Dele Alli had a season to forget and not to pin your hopes on him. Well, little did they know he actually invented a new skill in that game that we’ve named as the ‘Fall-Over Shot’.
This is when he’s just inside the box, shaping to shoot and sees his compatriot Danny Welbeck falling over. Rather than waste this golden opportunity shooting at the goal he decided to shoot the ball into the direction of Welbeck’s rapidly tumbling spud which then ricochets into the goal and the rest is history.
4. Gareth Southgate
On to the manager and in Gareth Southgate the FA have picked a man so in-tune with what it means to play for the Three Lions, he’s actually single-handedly knocked the team out of a tournament. He watched as his decisive attemptin a penalty shootout against Germany at Euro ’96 was saved sending the team crashing out.
You might think this is a negative, but at least we’re showing how high our standards are… not many others in world football have such experience in disappointing an entire country.
5. Jamie Vardy
The world went barmy in 2016 when Jamie Vardy was pictured with chewing tobacco. This time around he’s divulged a bit more, stating he drinks 3 cans of red bull every morning. One when he wakes up, one after his breakfast consisting of a cheese and ham omelette with baked beans and another just after training.
Can you picture the inevitable scenario where a rocket-fuelled Jamie Vardy chases down Manuel Neuer in the World Cup final for a loose ball? I know the German Stopper fancies himself as a baller but we think even Roy Keane would avoid that confrontation.
(Whoever is rooming with Jamie Vardy, with that diet, you have our sympathy.)
5 ½. MARCUS RASHFORD
Once more for good measure, did you see the absolute worldie Rashford scored?