Sat. Sep 18th, 2021


England are very good and may even win, but the Euros matter more as a chance to revel in the unity and joyful dissent the game inspires

We want to be free, to do what we want to do. We want to throw beer in the air. We want to dress up as Gareth Southgate in his kindly Victorian undertaker phase. And that’s what we’re going to do (with appropriate clearance and a favourable infection curve). We’re going to have a good time. We’re going to have a party.

Watching the England squad announcement for next week’s World Cup qualifying triple-header it was easy to get lost in the familiar tropes, the muscle memory of a springtime tournament run. Here is an earnest man in a suit behind an FA-branded lectern. Here are heated radio show discussions about defensive midfield options. Here, as ever, is The Problem With The Squad.

Related: Luke Shaw’s England recall rewards a player in the form of his life

I want to dodge vomit in a stairwell. I want to see a news feature on a butcher with a six foot Tyrone Mings offal cake

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