NIZHNY NOVGOROD. – Never shy of indulging in a bit of sensationalism, the English media greeted the national side’s record World Cup win with a euphoria every bit as intense as the venom unleashed following regular flops by the now-transformed “Three Lions”.
“We believe in miracles . . . you sixy things,” The Sun declared, paying homage to a Hot Chocolate hit from the 1970s, on its front page over an image of players celebrating Sunday’s 6-1 win over Panama, England’s biggest ever at a World Cup.
Having mustered just one point and two goals in their disastrous 2014 World Cup campaign, England are flying in Russia, already into the Round of 16 with two wins out of two, eight goals, and the tournament’s top scorer in Harry Kane.
That has transformed expectations.
Former England midfielder and new Derby manager Frank Lampard, a mainstay of the “golden generation” of big-name under-performers, said Gareth Southgate’s team could now lift the trophy. “I don’t see why we would be negative enough to just start going, ‘Oh, I hope we get to the quarter-finals’,” he told the BBC.
“This is not getting ahead of myself, just look at the talent in our squad and in the team and the way they’re playing, and why should we write ourselves off?”
Other newspapers were packed with pictures of the England team flying back to their base cradling hat-trick man Kane’s match ball and fans back home leaping for joy and spraying themselves with beer as the goals went in. – Reuters.