Dual citizenship; It’s been a contentious and eye-rolling phrase in Australia for the past 18 months. But now for the 1.2 million British citizens who reside in Australia and their band wagoning spawn claiming citizenship by descent, it’s worn like a badge of honour around the country…
Because football is coming home.
England’s 2-0 victory over Sweden in the quarter finals also puts an end to the age old question- who looks at their new-born child and names it Gareth? The answer is now obvious; fathers will be relaying the story to their first born, Gareth Junior, of how Sir Gareth Southgate-the football genius himself put together England’s least experienced squad in 56 years to steer the Cup home.
England appeared in control from start to finish in a game that had less controversy than the Ikea horsemeat meatball scandal. As reliable as the sight of the head of a beer held by a pot-bellied English fan in the crowd, were the heads of Harry Maguire in the 30th minute following a corner cross from Ashley Young and Dele Alli in the 58th on the receiving end of a Jesse Lingard assist. The goal tally could have been higher for England, with Raheem Sterling’s multiple opportunities in front of goal being as wasted as England’s core fan base.
The hands of Pickford aided England in chalking up their first clean sheet at Russia 2018, gaining him a MOTM performance and pushing his credentials as one of the rising stars of this Cup. Whilst Sweden continued to come up empty in front of the net with their total campaign goal tally not exceeding Harry Kane’s own personal goal figures.
The final whistle saw the Scandinavians drop to the ground with similar anguished facial expressions to a newly married couple’s first attempt at building a flat pack chest of drawers. The game’s end also means FIFA’s Fan of the Day gets significantly less attractive the longer England remains in the competition.
At the same time Sweden’s exit spells two things- it’s not coming home for Sweden, much like the players of the entire 23-man squad who do not play for a Swedish football league team. But also Zlatan Ibrahimovic has lost his bet to Beckham, with Zlatan now needing to don an England jersey at Wembley, with a halftime fish and chips in hand- the type of chips that taste as victorious to England supporters as the $1 victory chips you purchase yourself at the end of your Ikea shopping trip as a reward for successfully adult-ing and feeling as if you have your life together.
England now face Croatia in their first semi-final in 28 years. There is no more need for dreaming and Gazza Southgate is as good as before, it’s coming home.
by Hayley Leedham