THE final? No chance we’ll muff it, says 19-year-old Ryan Whittaker, born six years after England ripped fans’ hearts out in 1996. Here he explains:
Optimistic? Of course I am. Just look at the way things have been going these last few years.
2017, England qualify top of their group and I start liking the taste of beer. 2018, we reach the semi-finals, my acne clears up and I get off with Charlotte Phelps.
2019, England qualify top with only one loss and I lose my virginity over a very fulfilling weekend with Charlotte’s best mate Sophie. So 2020, delayed by a year, means we’ll win the final and I honestly believe I can talk them into a threesome.
This fantastic summer of my youth, coronavirus vanquished and Stormzy having released an absolute banger with Dave, how can we possibly lose? Like if we did that’d break me forever.
It’s not like you old folk with your memories of Britpop peaking and New Labour rising. That was old and pathetic and you need to get over it. We’re new and thrilling and the world’s on our side.
So I confidently predict England will win tonight, and that my generation will be swept into power and will dismantle all the old political systems and make things brilliant.
Tomorrow night. That’s when my youthful optimism gets confirmed forever and I truly understand how special I am and that the universe cares about me.
You old Euro 96 people don’t get it. Gareth Southgate has stepped up. He will not let us down.