1. Costa Rica top Group D… and they fully deserve it
Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz may lead the line, but this team has strength from goalkeeper to attack and, in topping Group D and remaining unbeaten in a group in which they were clearly considered the fourth ranked team, have performed heroics. The second placed team in Group C will have their work cut out when they face this confident Costa Rica outfit.
2. England fans have a sense of humour
“We’re going home, we’re going home, we’re going…..” were the chants from the England end after three minutes at the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in Brasilia. They may have just watched their team play in Brazil for the last time, but there were no straight faces as the travelling support kept singing from start to finish. There was also the ‘Flight’s to Rio - £1,200, Enjoying the ambience - £2,000, Accommodation - £2,000, Arriving after elimination – priceless’ banner. Inspired.
3. England haven’t lost their ability to bore
Cast your mind back 10 days and Roy Hodgson’s bright new England were exciting a nation with their fearless brand of attacking football. But since their defeat by Italy, the enthusiasm has been slowly drained from England, whose first and only point of the tournament comes in a dire 0-0 draw. This is the England we know – don’t EVER try to change them, Roy.
4. Luke Shaw and Ross Barkley should start more often for England
The FA have clearly given Roy Hodgson license to plan for the future and these two players were two of the brightest during this dull goalless draw. Luke Shaw’s gut-busting runs down the left provided a glimpse of what he’s been doing for Southampton and Barkley’s intelligent play will surely see him become a regular fixture in the white of England.
5. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard CAN play together after all
The age-old debate has finally been concluded in what appears to be their last England game together. Gerrard came off the bench to partner Lampard in midfield in the second half and held things together admirably. They passed to each other several times without surrending possession and gave each other a high five at full time. Sven, Steve and Fabio were wrong and Roy is right. Call off the retirement, boys, we have a new midfield.
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