Gareth Southgate’s young England side have won many plaudits this summer for their run to the World Cup semi-final and the style of play they have produced in getting there.
The Three Lions run of course came to and end last night when they slipped to a 2-1 extra time defeat to Croatia in the Luzhniki Stadium.
Although England dominated much of the first half, Luka Modric and company began to get on the ball thereafter after looked much more composed and technically proficient then Southgate’s young side.
Many fans and pundits had been waxing lyrical about England playing out for the back and through the compartments in Russia, but Croatia right-back Šime Vrsaljko obviously wasn’t very impressed – insisting that once his side put some pressure on the Three Lions they simply resorted to their old habit of pumping the ball long at every opportunity:
“The all-round perception was that this is a new-look England who have changed their ways of punting long balls upfield but, when we pressed them, it turned out that they haven’t,” He told Croatian TV.
England will now face Belgium in the third place play off on Saturday, while Croatia will meet France in the World Cup final next Sunday.