It wasn’t quite 5-1 in Munich, but Saturday’s heroic 3-2 win in Germany was easily one of the best England performances in recent memory. After positive showings in the first hour, Roy Hodgson’s men finally gained a cutting edge in the final 30 minutes to score two incredible goals before snatching a last-gasp victory courtesy of Eric Dier’s header. As a Three Lions supporter, the friendly in Berlin had everything you could ever hope for, but let’s not get carried away.
After all, we’ve been here and done it all before. That magical night in Munich 15 years ago was incredible, but it was Germany that reached the following summer’s World Cup final while we crashed out in the quarter-final. Similarly, our last win in Berlin came in a campaign that ultimately ended with the embarrassment of that 4-1 humiliation, by the Germans, in Bloemfontein at World Cup 2010.
Amidst the drama, there was plenty of positives to take from the game with Eric Dier and Dele Alli looking particularly composed on the international stage, even if the latter did miss one chance that even Ali Dia could’ve scored. If England carry on as they have, then there’s every reason to be optimistic ahead of this summer’s tournament.
But there’s nothing worse than hearing the calls of “Euro 2016 is our’s to lose”. Inevitably, though, those declarations were sounding out across the nation’s pubs before Dier had even finished celebrating his first international goal.
For once, it would be great to be ecstatic with the night but keep the expectations down. Unfortunately, that’s about as likely as Rafa Benitez and Big Sam suddenly going for a night out at Blue Velvet.
Anyway, let’s hope for more of the same from Roy’s boys against the Dutch on Tuesday; and more importantly, in France this summer.