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England up to fifth in October World Rankings
From the absurd to the ridiculous
- England will climb one spot to fifth in the new FIFA World Rankings when they are published later this month. After an eerie experience in Rijeka, England went to Seville with low expectations and yet managed to pull off a thrilling win which can only be described as one of the best away displays in the modern era of English international football.
The difference between the two games couldn't have been starker. In Croatia there was a lot missing - besides the crowd - with Marcus Rashford's shooting boots the most obvious. In Seville, it was Spain's turn to go missing with the Three Lions rampant in the first half. Normal service was resumed for the second with all ten of the Spanish outfield players encamped outside of England's penalty area, but the English dug in for a famous and overdue win in Spain. Not since the days of Gary Lineker, some 31 years ago, had England scored in Spain, let alone won.
England have one more match in UEFA's Nation League A Group 4 - against Croatia next month. Prior to that, whilst England will be playing the United States, Croatia take on Spain. A Spanish win will seal the group and they will proceed to the finals next Summer. Any other result and England will pip them to it if they beat Croatia at Wembley three days later.
Barring a calamitous repeat of the 'Wally with the brolly' next month, have England done enough to avoid relegation from League A and be seeded for the Euro 2020 qualifying draw in December? We shall see...
- Posted: 18th October 2018 9:06am
UEFA Nations League A Group 4
Spain 2 - 3 England
- An awesome display of counter-attacking football see England 3-0 up at half time with goals from Rashford either side of a Sterling brace. England hold on despite a Spanish fightback with Sergio Ramos scoring with the last kick of the game.
A marvellous win to rank with other modern competitive away victories such as 4-1 in Croatia and 5-1 in Germny.
- Posted: 15th October 2018 10:45pm
UEFA Nations League A Group 4
Croatia 0 - 0 England
- Rashford forgets his shooting boots in empty stalemate in Rijeka. New boy Sancho has lively cameo.
- Posted: 13th October 2018 2:29am
England stay at 6th in September World Rankings
Loss to Spain but win against Switzerland
- England will retain sixth position in the new FIFA World rankings published next week despite the 2-1 loss to Spain in their inaugural UEFA Nations League match. Using the new calculation method England lost 8 ranking points on Saturday before regaining 5 when they narrowly beat Switzerland 1-0 on Tuesday. Spain took charge of Group 4 following their win over the Three Lions and a 6-0 thrashing of World Cup finalists Croatia. England's next two matches in October will be away, firstly to an empty stadium in Croatia - punishment for racist chanting by Croatian fans back in 2015 - and then Seville for the return game against Spain. Spain themselves were awarded 17 ranking points for their two wins but only move one place to ninth behind Switzerland in eighth. Whilst FIFA's new ranking system irons out some of the flaws that the old system had it will take a while for ranking points to "settle down" and become meaningful. The only movement in the top ten is Belgium re-taking the top spot from World Cup Winners France.
For comparison the more stable and reliable Elo Ratings have England at 11th, Spain 4th, Croatia 9th and Switzerland 14th.
- Posted: 13th September 2018 10:25am
England 1 - 0 Switzerland
- Rashford scores for the second game in a row as England bounce back from defeat against Spain by beating Switzerland 1-0 in a friendly at Leicester.
- Posted: 11th September 2018 10:21pm