Vi har ikke tall å støtte oss til, men har inntrykket av at nordmenn gjennom tidene plasserer England høyt oppe på lista over nasjoner vi ønsker skal vinne de største mesterskapene. For oss ble det en tankevekker da vi under forrige EM befant oss i en engelskdrevet pub i Marbella, og satt inneklemt mellom engelske supportere for å se De Tre Løvene spille seg videre i sluttspillet.
For aldri før har vi hørt noen rakke så mye ned på sine egne spillere og krangle om det var United-spilleren, Liverpool-spilleren eller de fra Chelsea som sucked the most. Men da England tapte, ble det nesten en lettet steming blant engelskmennene: «Hva var det vi sa».
Jamie Carragher har noe av forklaringen på hvorfor onsdagens semifinale-lag fra England er noe helt, helt annet.
Vi gir deg Jamie Carraghers analyse til Daily Telegraph i full engelsk språkdrakt. Det er verdt lesingen.
-I want England to beat Denmark and win the tournament this weekend. I will be gutted for all of the players and staff if they do not see it through because there is no reason why anyone from this country would not be 100 per cent behind this manager and his players.
-Over the last two major tournaments, this group has stirred feelings in me which I cannot recall for any other England team. It is not patriotism, but something else – a sense of being able to identify with the values and character of Southgate and his squad. These players possess an ability to unify the nation unlike any other in my lifetime.
-When I was playing, we were a divisive, spiky bunch. We tended to be outspoken on club affairs. Manchester United and Everton supporters did not like me, and I understood that because I would never resist a dig at their team in interviews. No fans other than those of Manchester United liked Gary Neville!
-Everyone saw Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal players in an England shirt. Now they see England players who happen to play for Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. The players are more polished and savvy in how they are represented and conduct themselves. Sometimes that might make it appear like there are fewer characters than in previous eras. As a harmonising force, that has helped them.
Les på Engelske klubber: Junior Firpo vil lage fest på Elland Road
-In their subtle but determined way, players like Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson have taken on issues which chime with those who previously felt the England team was for someone else, not them. Sterling has taken on the racists. Rashford will be applauded when he plays at a full Anfield for his work on food poverty. Henderson has been commended around the country for his campaigning on behalf of the NHS.
-They are are modern professionals, approachable and likeable. It is impossible for me to watch Harry Maguire leading the defence, Kalvin Phillips making a name for himself in midfield and the rise of Harry Kane to superstar status and not to be enthused by their stories. Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham have taken risks by going abroad at the start of their careers – unthinkable for teenage England players 20 years ago, avslutter Carragher.
We need you.
All of us. All of you. pic.twitter.com/VtQ1quXpvg
— England (@England) June 12, 2021
Det er ikke bare Jamie Garragher som kjenner lukten av engelsk EM-tittel.