On Friday Gareth Southgate’s side were – Exhausting. Numbing. Grim. Lame. Achingly-dull. Nothingness. Dreary. By Monday night they were Entertaining. Nifty. Gripping. Lively. Adventurous. Net-busting. Dynamic.
In the 0-0 draw away in Rijeka Marcus Rashford missed two one-on-one sitters with the goalkeeper, Harry Kane was anonymous and hit the bar with a header he should have buried and Raheem Sterling showed why he had not scored for his country since October 2015.
In the 3-2 victory in Seville Rashford was composed and got a deserved goal, Kane was chief workhorse and creator and instead of waiting 1,102 days between goals Sterling left just 22 minutes between his double on the night.
Against Croatia the hosts were punished for previously having a swastika visible on their pitch by having supporters banned, which meant less atmosphere than the moon inside the eerie stadium.
Against Spain the disbelieving home fans almost cheered their side back from being 3-0 down at the break – the first time in their history they had conceded so many in a competitive match on native soil.
England scored with all three of their shots on target, while Spain enjoyed 73% possession, had 24 shots (6 on target) and forced 12 corners to our zero.
But statistics are like bikinis – they show a lot but not everything. And the only stat that counts is that England got their first win in Spain since 1987 when Gary Lineker scored four times in a 4-2 victory.
THE Premier League is back this weekend and kicks off with a mouth-watering clash. Saturday at high noon all eyes will be on the shootout between Chelsea and Manchester United.
The Blues are unbeaten, joint-top of the table and love their new boss Maurizio Sarri and the thrilling football they are seeing with star man Eden Hazard shining brighter than a diamond encrusted lighthouse’s beam.
The Red Devils have been beaten quite a lot, are mid-table and most hate manager Jose Mourinho and the boring football they are seeing with star man Paul Pogba currently all gurgle and no guts.
United fans must be sick and tired of being sick and tired. Just eight games into the season and we’ve had petulant three-minute 8am press conferences, the apparent mouthing of ‘f*** off sons of b*****s’ in Portuguese down a camera lens, which copped an FA charge, plus more moaning than in your usual porn film!
As he prepares for back-to-back games against his old side and Juventus in the Champions League the battling boss knows if he wins those two matches his critics are immediately silenced, lose both and he may as well get his coat.
But as Mr Prickly heads back to Stamford Bridge he needs to learn that a graceful taunt is worth a thousand insults.
AND finally someone who hated this international break as much as Donald Trump hates women talking back to him is Jurgen Klopp.
The Liverpool boss has seen Virgil van Dijk aggravate two broken ribs, Mo Salah limp off with a muscle strain and Sadio Mane break a thumb.
Unlike Mr Mushroom the German’s problem of losing four key men is anything other than Tiny.