England won the football World Cup for the first and only time in 1966. Since then there have been 14 competitions and we have played a total of 55 games.

In the 11 finals we have taken part in we have never beaten a team that was ranked higher than us in the knockout stages. We have lost three times to Germany, twice to Argentina and once each to Italy, Brazil and Portugal.

We have only managed to beat Denmark (ranked 20), Senegal (18), Columbia (16) and Sweden (24) in the latter stages of the competition. We were also beaten by Croatia (20) in the 2018 semi-final.

In fact we have only won twice against higher ranked teams over the 56 games.... both at the lesser important group stages.We are experts at catching minnows but find it almost impossible to land the bigger fish!

Gareth Southgate has been in charge for the last two World Cups. In 2018 we beat teams ranked 55,31,24 and 21st before being knocked out by Croatia. The only team we played who were above us in the rankings was Belgium who beat us twice... once at the group stage and then in the third-place play-off.

In the 2022 finals we beat teams ranked 20,19 and 18 and drew with the USA, ranked 16, before losing to France in last Saturday’s quarter final. The highest-ranking teams that we have beaten in the last two World Cup have been Columbia (16h) on penalties and Senegal( 18).

Can it all be down to bad luck, poor referees and missed penalties?

Colin Morrison