I'm watching really for the first time with my lads (8 & 6) and it strikes me that the team, how they play, what they talk about and how they conduct themselves is much more important than the result.
It's really hard to justify to a kid why "giving bad fouls" is OK. The terms "gamesmanship" or "game management" sound empty to kids, and rightly so.
Harry Kane does wonders for the team, in the same way a young Lineker did. Mexico 86 was when I fell in love with England and I hope my boys do too (we didn't win it then either).
For all the individual talent of the golden generation, their biggest failure was that they didn't play that well as a team. The perennial Lampard/Gerrard discussion was emblematic of that, as were Rooney and Beckham's moments of petulance.
Sven didn't ignite the powder keg of potential, he just aimed to manage it, stop the egos blowing it up and hope for the best. Southgate seems intent on pushing it in a certain direction, using what firepower we have, building a system and acting as a stuard of the team and nation, maybe for the king to one day emerge.
This time we're going to get out of the group and if we get to the quarters, by that time, then it's just a flip of a coin decided on small moments, managing substitutions, discipline and most of all playing for each other.
Fucking hell...we're going to have a good tournament. Just let that sink in for a bit.