Pat Nevin on England: "They've over-performed to get that far"

Croatia ended England's World Cup dream on Wednesday

BY Simon Maguire 3 days ago, 21:16 12 Jul 2018

Pat Nevin joined Thursday's Off the Ball to reflect on England's exit from the World Cup at the hands of Croatia on Wednesday

Gareth Southgate's charges had a relatively straightforward route to the semi-finals but were ultimately undone by the slickness and creativity of Luka Modric and Co.

Nonetheless, Nevin thinks they can be proud of their efforts, saying: "For them, they've over-performed to get that far. This is the first pretty good team they've managed to meet in the whole competition and they managed not to be able to beat them but having said that - well done getting this far. 

"I think England has to keep a perspective on this - had England been in the other side of the draw - no chance, absolutely no chance. I wouldn't have seen them get through it at all. 

"I think even beforehand Gareth Southgate and the team were saying that they're hoping to get to a quarter-final and that would have been fine but just because the way it went, the way the draw went and they realised the bunch of teams there - I mean the Sweden game, I annoyed the vast majority of Swedish people apparently, because I watched the game before that and said quite simply 'England will hammer them, they're just not good enough' - I was just being honest, I wasn't being nasty, I was just being honest.

"So England managed to do that, scrape by in the other game against Colombia and that was ok but that's kind of second division and you're lower Premier in international sides - that's not Brazil, that's not Argentina, that's not Germany, that's not France - so when they came up against a real Premiership-type team in Croatia - they weren't good enough to do that. 

"That's to take nothing away from them - that's where they are and well done doing slightly better than what's expected. And, listening to most English people talking now, yeah they're disappointed but they know they've gone as far as they expected to go and it's the right final now probably," he said.

Listen to tonight's full chat here:

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