Piers Morgan doesn’t think the England squad are heroes following their 2-1 defeat to Croatia in the semi-finals of the World Cup.
England went 1-0 up in the first half thanks to Kieran Trippier’s superb free kick, although Ivan Perišić equalised for Croatia in the second half.
Unfortunately for the Three Lions Croatia took the lead in the second half of extra time, making it 2-1 and knocking England out of the tournament.
It was, unequivocally, gutting. Wounding. Personally, I walked the streets of Manchester eating a kebab shouting ‘F***ing Croatia’ at grey skies over and over. I mean, I do that every night, but this time I was cursing a southeast European country – I mean, well done to them, but it’s another year of hurt here.
Piers Morgan, naturally, isn’t happy about our boys being heralded as heroes following their tragic exit.
On Good Morning Britain he said:
Headlines this morning are a little bit, to me, OTT. Heroes are those British cave divers who took those kids out.
You win the World Cup, you’re a hero – right. But I think coming third or fourth, what I would say is England massively exceeded very low expectations.
A young, inexperienced team did much better than we thought they would but they lost. I don’t think you would hear the England team call themselves heroes.
His co-host Susanna Reid disagreed, arguing:
The boys are heroes because they united the country – they inspired joy and optimism.
We can all be forgiven for what we do or say today (bar anything criminal) as is our wont. This is our day of mourning.
In the midst of a glorious heatwave, the excitement was palpable as England progressed through the group stage, advanced from the last 16 for the first time in 12 years and reached the nation’s first semi-final since that night in Turin at Italia ’90.
Before every match, there was world-weary cynicism as people shook their heads at the prospect of the lads getting further; continually bracing themselves for the inevitable disappointment.
And yet their eyes would light up again and again as we rocketed through the group stages, the quarter-finals, before reaching our third ever World Cup semi-final.
And with each game, we were given fresh moments to be proud of. Who could forget Harry Kane’s hat-trick against Panama? Or the moment Gareth Southgate put both his and his nation’s penalty shootout demons to rest with England’s first ever spot-kick victory in a World Cup, and then console a disappointed Columbian player?
It was a summer where we felt anything could happen. We sang Three Lions in the pubs and in the streets, giddy with warm beer and hope.
And roars of joy could be heard on every corner as Harry Kane landed goal after goal, rising to become the top scorer in the competition with six beautifully executed efforts.
Stars were born before our eyes. After what has felt like an eternity we were treated to a team capable of wearing the national shirt with pride not overburden by expectation or false hope.
In the words of Gareth Southgate after the Columbia match:
We’ve spoken to the players about writing their own stories,
Tonight, they showed they don’t have to conform to what’s gone before. They have created their own history.
We always have to believe in what is possible in life and not be hindered by history or expectations.
Here’s to Euro 2020. Wind it in, Morgan.
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