I am not a football expert. I was useless at school. I was especially bad at goalkeeping so I was always put there by teachers who wanted the other team to win. My side of course lost and then I was set upon by angry team mates and blamed for their own failures. So I hate the game. But I keep up with the general drift of what is going on. I was surprised, I am ashamed to admit, that England won last night because the last time they got this far in anything was before I was thirty.
So now the big moment approaches against Italy, unbeaten in 33 games. A big ask. But the nation’s widest dreams will be realised if just one cultural attitude is stamped on before the game starts. It is an English cultural phenomenon that it is somehow okay to lose. It is a decent thing to be a good loser. The nation can be proud of heroes in defeat. Forget all that.
The only reason we play is to win. Nothing else. Winning is all and everything. That is what team England can, will and must do. Then the nation can fall at their feet in a delirium of celebrations. For at last, real gold standard history making heroes they all will be.