“It’s coming home” has become a summertime idiom, replacing “hello” as my standard greeting, the “Under His Eye” of this heliocentric inversion of the Hand Maid’s hell in which we are all now blissfully residing.
This World Cup has created, as festivals are supposed to, a temporary utopia, this rare and beautiful English summer, scored by an entirely new English football experience. Hard and even foolish to unpick the alchemy that has led to this welcome and unfamiliar joy, but here goes; the lack of ‘hooliganism’ long known as the ‘English disease’, the gently blended team of adorable millennials and most prominent of all, of course, Gareth Southgate.
Who is this new knight? This sleek and kind-eyed ‘New Dad’? A man who prior to the tournament we were willing to dismiss as a stop-gap eunuch, a finger in the dyke till the next brash, brusque, brooding or cold don could be ushered in at high cost. [ . . . ]