News Analysis

England much improved but challengers too good

It was all so very unEnglish, a rare summer of optimism and overachievement, rather than regret and recriminations. England were semi-finalists in the 2018 World Cup, their first appearance in the last four of a major tournament since Euro '96.

And since then, Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham have emerged. Luke Shaw, Ben Chilwell and Jack Grealish have kicked on. Declan Rice has stopped playing for Ireland.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2021, with the headline 'England much improved but challengers too good'. Subscribe