Whilst the dust still doesnâ€™t seem to have fully settled after football almost â€˜came homeâ€™, the recent 2022 World Cup Qualifiers have been a timely reminder to England fans of where the national team are at.
Facing up against the likes of San Marino and Andorra will of course be met with derision by the armchair fans, who could argue the virtues of meaningless football matches all day.
However, for Gareth Southgate and his staff the unprecedented cycle of the next major tournament being just over 12 months away, adds an extra degree of significance to every game England play currently.
Qualification for major tournaments is something England are very adept at and with their most recent 5-0 win over Andorra particularly impressive, there is a growing belief that the Three Lions could be in serious contention in Qatar next year.
England are as short as 1/90 with some bookmakers to reach the World Cup next year and look to have the job done.
Much Fancied England
England are currently 9/1 with William Hill bookmaker to go all the way in the Gulf next year, with Gareth Southgateâ€™s men currently third favourites for glory behind Brazil and defending champions France.
The upcoming World Cup draw in December 2021 will play a huge factor in whether England can fulfil their enormous potential next winter but with the Three Lions in the box seat in qualification and only Hungary, Albania, and San Marino to play â€“ there is a growing sense of optimism across the country.
Under the stewardship of Gareth Southgate, England have gone from strength to strength â€“ particularly in major tournaments, a key facet of their failing(s) under previous regimes.
At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, very little was expected of Southgateâ€™s inexperienced side, and they defied the odds to reach the last 4 â€“ their first World Cup semi-final appearance in 28 years.
They went one better at the delayed Euro 2020, capturing the hearts of a nation as they fell agonisingly short to ending their wait for a major tournament on penalties to Italy at Wembley.
Despite all the optimism however, the harsh reality for England is that they have not won a major tournament since 1966 and the 56 years of pain their fans have endured have been particularly tough to bear.
Looking ahead to 2022 in Qatar, Gareth Southgate knows he has a very youthful and more than useful squad at his disposal.
However, the England boss is all too aware of the scrutiny he is under every game and has recently said he feels like he is committing a â€˜crimeâ€™ every time he selects his side to play any given game.
Who Makes The Squad to Qatar?
Picking 23 players to get the job done in a major tournament is ultimately what all international managers are judged upon.
Gareth Southgate has a wealth of players at his disposal, and he will be looking to see them all in action over the next few qualification and warm up games.
Experienced personnel such as Jordan Henderson, Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker will need to keep performing over the next 12 months to assure their place in the squad.
Whilst young and exciting talents like Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham and Mason Greenwood will be doing all they can to keep impressing and they will see this qualification period as the ideal scenario to stake their respective claims for a place on the plane.