'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

Lord O'Neill hails 'really cool' initiative for people to donate energy bill rebate to less fortunate

Lord O'Neill hails initiative for people to donate energy bill rebate to less fortunate

James O'Brien dissects 'baffling' US gun control opposition

James O'Brien dissects 'baffling' US gun control opposition

James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'thinks he's the real victim' of Partygate

James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'thinks he's the real victim' of Partygate

'I feel used!' Tearful veteran 'embarrassed' by Britain's Afghan withdrawal

'I feel used!': Tearful veteran 'embarrassed' by Britain's Afghan withdrawal

James O'Brien's 'astonishing' takedown of PM's Partygate misconduct

James O'Brien's 'astonishing' takedown of PM's Partygate misconduct

Boys at Rishi Sunak's school had 'no idea' about outside world says ex-employee

Boys at Rishi Sunak's school had 'no idea' about outside world says ex-employee

James O'Brien: Rishi Sunak's wealth 'unjustifiable' amid cost of living crisis

James O'Brien: Rishi Sunak's wealth 'unjustifiable' amid cost of living crisis

John Sweeney: I do not think that Vladimir Putin has long for this world

John Sweeney: I do not think that Vladimir Putin has long for this world

James O'Brien tears apart government's 'ideological' opposition to a windfall tax

James O'Brien tears apart government's 'ideological' opposition to a windfall tax

Most Red Wall seats worse off under Boris Johnson despite levelling up promise

Most Red Wall seats worse off under Boris Johnson despite levelling up promise

James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'running scared of backbenchers' over obesity

James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'running scared of backbenchers' over obesity

Exclusive
Jamie Oliver spoke to James O'Brien on LBC today

Jamie Oliver’s Eton Mess protest on Downing St as he slams Boris for child obesity u-turn

'Is it contempt for the less fortunate?' James O'Brien blasts Tory Minister over poverty

'Is it contempt for the less fortunate?' James O'Brien blasts Tory Minister over poverty

'It's 21st century bloodsport': Columnist tracks down Oxford student 'hounded out' of UK

'It's 21st century bloodsport': Columnist tracks down Oxford student 'hounded out' of UK

James O'Brien's furious reaction to blocking of Lord Lebedev security assessment

James O'Brien's furious reaction to blocking of Lord Lebedev security assessment

James O'Brien argues the government has "massively conned" the public into thinking that it doesn't matter that "the only Covid law-making address in the country has become the biggest Covid law-breaking address... arguably in the world".

James O'Brien: Press 'conned' you that Partygate doesn't matter, I think it's worked