Ken Early: Gareth Southgate becomes the new Churchill as England dreams

A jubilant and delirious nation is expecting its superheroes to take it to the final

Fans celebrated on the streets of London as England booked their place in the semi-finals of the World Cup with a 2-0 win over Sweden. Video: Reuters

Four years ago, as England prepared to face Uruguay in a decisive World Cup match in São Paulo, the England captain Steven Gerrard gathered his players together for a team talk. The content of his message to them was revealed in his 2015 autobiography My Story.

“I kept it brief. Looking around me, I said if we didn’t get it right against Uruguay on Thursday, then each and every one of us faced a terrible summer. It would be a long and frustrating month where, away from each other, we’d mull over everything that had gone wrong again and again.

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