It’s 52 years since England won the World Cup – 52 long, fruitless years. The world’s changed in that time, and football has changed right along with it, but England’s inability to win a major trophy has been one of the constants in a tumultuous period. There’ve been close calls and near misses, as well as outright embarrassments.
The generation of players Gareth Southgate has to work with at least have the best chance of ending the trophy drought, illustrated in this infographic since Terry Venables at Euro 96 – a squad Southgate was part of. Southgate’s penalty miss in the semi-final with Germany went down in history but now he’s England manager, he has the opportunity to write a new story.
There’s no guaranteeing when a trophy will come – England weren’t nailed-on in 1966, and 2018, maybe more than any World Cup ever, has thrown up surprise after surprise. The drought could still go on, but it feels closer to ending than at almost any time in the last five decades.