The most fluid and incisive England performance I have actually seen of late– perhaps ever, within my living memory– was the very first half of the 3-2 Nations League win in Seville versus Spain a little bit more than two years back. It almost beats the 5-1 trouncing of Germany in Munich in 2001 and the Euro ’96 hammering of the Dutch.

There was something really un-English about that very first 45 minutes, in the clarity of the death (specifically from Jordan Pickford), the imaginative running, the lethal ending up. No one lumped it into the box. Set pieces were nearly disdained. Instead it was this present (practically) England side doing what they do best– quick, counterattacking football versus a side that nobody offered them a.