'They've climbed a mountain': James O'Brien on why this England squad is 'different'

8 July 2021, 12:48

By Tim Dodd

James O'Brien reflects on why this England football squad seems 'different', as they make it to the final of Euro 2020.

It comes as England reached their first major final in 55 years after beating Denmark 2-1 in extra time in a thrilling Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley

James began by pointing out: "They don't look like lottery winners, they don't look like they've been plucked from relative obscurity and dropped into this goldfish board of epic attention and rewards.

"The difference between the post match interviews is fascinating as well. You're not going to get any of them pulling each other's pants down or pouring champagne over each other's heads... They were already thinking about the next game."

READ MORE: 'Idiot' shines laser in Denmark goal keeper's face during England's winning penalty 

James continued: "I think previous generations would almost have felt that they'd already won the cup by getting to the final, but this lot are already looking over the horizon, and that is really incredible to see. 

"It's so un-English. It's so at odds with the English football team's tradition - the plucky loser, the kind of frustrated winners who never quite get over the line. This lot will not be happy unless they win the whole thing."

READ MORE: Young England fan bursts into tears as Mason Mount gives her his shirt 

James then clarified his position that the England team don't look like lottery winners:

"I can see evidence of every rung of the ladder they've climbed on their hands and in their faces. For example, Kalvin Phillips would not have been anywhere near England if he hadn't grafted and grafted.

"Rashford talking about having a panic attack when he was playing for the under 16s - they've been there. They've got the lunchbox, they've got the scars of struggling up the ladder. 

"They don't look like lottery winners, they look like people who've climbed a mountain, rather than people who've been dropped on the top of it.

READ MORE: Jubilant England fans celebrate semi-final win over Denmark

Sadiq Khan was asked if the Met would have ignored the Sarah Everard vigil if it was BYOB

'If the Everard vigil was BYOB, would the have Met ignored it?'

James O'Brien on choices facing Boris Johnson over No10 booze-up

James O'Brien's analysis of choices facing Boris Johnson over No10 booze-up

James O'Brien said the Prime Minister's regime reminded him of a video game.

James O'Brien's powerful analogy of Boris 'sucking the souls' of those closest to him

James O'Brien's powerful take on Covid-19 vaccine misinformation

James O'Brien's merciless take on Covid-19 vaccine misinformation

'January 6 is just the beginning'

Capitol riots not culmination of Trump years but 'just the beginning', says journalist

James O'Brien's utter disbelief that PM 'forgot' about Whatsapp messages

Flat saga: James O'Brien's utter disbelief that PM 'forgot' about WhatsApp messages

'Come and spend a shift with me': Paramedic hits out at 'pontificating' journalists

Paramedic breaks down explaining she is 'on the brink of nervous collapse'

Bristol's slavery 'cancer' was 'surgically removed' by Colston Four, says witness David Olusoga

Bristol's slavery 'cancer' was 'surgically removed' by Colston Four, says historian David Olusoga

James O'Brien's passionate take on defining patriotism

James O'Brien's passionate take on defining patriotism

James O'Brien: Uproar over Tony Blair's knighthood 'silly'

James O'Brien: Uproar over Tony Blair's knighthood 'silly'

James O'Brien moved by grieving father's response to Cummings' claims

Best of 2021: James O'Brien moved by grieving father's response to Cummings' claims

Best of 2021: Matt Hancock's pub landlord 'sets the record straight'

Best of 2021: Matt Hancock's pub landlord 'sets the record straight'

James O'Brien's best moments of 2021

James O'Brien's best moments of 2021

Trump fan hangs up after being asked question by James O'Brien

Best of 2021: Trump fan hangs up after being asked question by James O'Brien

James O'Brien reaction to PM's decision to delay Covid measures

James O'Brien reaction to PM's decision to delay Covid measures

James O'Brien: 'It's not a flipping work meeting, it's a flipping party'

James O'Brien: 'It's not a flipping work meeting, it's a flipping party'