Poor old England - the end of the World Cup dream
It's coming home.
Not the Jules Rimet Trophy but a plane carrying Roy Hodgson's squad of 23 after an extremely disappointing World Cup campaign. A loss to a resilient Italy and a mistake in the final minutes against Uruguay ultimately cost England a place in the last 16 while a dead-rubber 0-0 against Costa Rica, the surprise package of the group, did little to quell the disappointment of England fans at home.
More importantly, think of the fans who travelled over 5,000 miles to watch England scrape a point in the group stages. Still, impassioned England fans were in good humour during the Costa Rica match, with one fan holding up a sign saying:
Flights to Rio - £1,200
Enjoying the ambience - £2,000
Accommodation - £2,000
Arriving after elimination - Priceless
On a serious note, our boys will be coming home disheartened, upset and sunburnt (probably). Fans will also be riding the crest of disappointment after a much-hyped campaign that saw Hodgson mix the young players with the old. In addition as Brazil is the spiritual home of football, it was England's greatest opportunity to remind the world who created the beautiful game. Unfortunately, it seems the apprentices have become the masters, usurping England to the throne.
Much has been said about the quality of England's World Cup 2014 campaign and what can be done to improve the squad's performance in time for Euro 2016, held in France. With newspaper columnists, Twitter users and celebrities all throwing in their two pence about England's short stay in Brazil, fans travelling back home will have more than enough material to keep them occupied - and they'll need it, considering the return to London is more than just a hop across the channel.
Indeed, many fans will have booked a significant amount of holiday leave from work just to travel to and from the host nation. One man offered his resignation as the headteacher of a primary school in order to travel to South America for the tournament. Direct flights take a minimum of 12 hours while various connections ensure almost a whole day is required to make it from London to Rio de Janeiro.
While the journey home for the England squad will be shorter due to the power of their private plane (and the luxury, of course), the same issues running through fans' heads will also be on the players' minds, too. Further training, squad rotation, tactical awareness, finishing practice...all will have been considered by the manager, his staff and his players on the trip back to Blighty. Fortunately, the team has two years to put things right - whether that actually happens or not is another story.
Regardless, England fans will continue to the support the team through thick and thin. After all, the team has won an international tournament trophy once, there's no stopping them doing so again. Until next time...
P.S. If there are any remaining fans in Brazil that might need a tissue or two posted from Blighty, here’s our comprehensive guide on posting to the world’s most successful footballing country; having won five World Cup tournaments.
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