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Jordan Pickford Wasn't Even Born Last Time England Played A World Cup Semi

Jordan Pickford Wasn't Even Born Last Time England Played A World Cup Semi

There are a million stories emanating from this England team, with the personal stories of players permeating our understanding of the boys on the field.

We've heard how Harry Maguire watched the last Euros as a fan with his mates in France, how Marcus Rashford's mam used to stand on the touchline watching him as a kid and how Keiran Trippier's dad got in trouble from the council for bedecking his house in too many England flags.

Now that the Three Lions have qualified for their first semi-final since 1990, a whole new angle has emerged to talk about: just how young a lot of this team are.

Plenty of them were not even born when England last made a World Cup final four, as goalkeeper Jordan Pickford - who made two amazing saves to keep the Swedes at bay - told a reporter on the pitch in Samara.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"After I made that first save from Marcus Berg with the header that was me set for the rest of the game," said Pickford straight after the game to the BBC.

"I wasn't born the last time England reached a World Cup semi-final (in 1990). We have always said we would take one game at a time and we can go on and create our own history."

Pickford is not alone in not remembering that summer in 1990.

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Only Ashley Young and Gary Cahill, both 32, could reasonably be expected to have any memory of it, though (I'll save you the maths) they would have been just 5 years of age during Italia 90.

Danny Rose was actually born two days before England's heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat to Germany on July 4th, while Jordan Henderson, Keiran Trippier, Danny Welbeck and Kyle Walker are all also 1990s babies.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Some of the team are so young that they don't even remember England's last major tournament semi-final - again, a heart-breaking loss to Germany at Wembley during Euro 96 - with today's goalscorers Dele Alli just three months old when his manager, Gareth Southgate, made himself a national pariah with that penalty miss.

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Spare a thought, too, for Trent Alexander-Arnold: he's the youngest member of the squad - and, after France's Kylian Mbappe, the youngest player left in the tournament - and was born three months after David Beckham's infamous red card against Argentina at France 98.

They're just babies, really. maybe the lack of experience of so many crushing defeats is what is keeping them from the horrendous fear built up by years and years of hurt.

Gareth, keep those boys away from Wikipedia and we might just have a chance yet.

Topics: Russia 2018, England, World Cup

Mike Wood

Mike Meehall Wood is a freelance journalist and translator. He writes for LADbible, VICE and countless sports publications, focusing on rugby league, football and boxing. He is a graduate of Leeds University and maintains a fizzy pop obsession. Contact Mike at [email protected]