This was very hard to watch.
The World Cup brought this England side closer to glory than they had come since 1990 and returned the feel good factor to the the fans at home.
Unfortunately for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain he was at home watching on TV instead of playing in Russia – after a heartbreaking injury before the tournament.
Not only did the Ox miss the Champions League final with Liverpool, but his injury ruled him out of having a chance to play for England at a World Cup – having missed out on the 2014 squad too.
The serious knee injury is still keeping the midfielder sidelined and so instead of turning out for the Three Lions against Spain tonight he was in the Sky Sports studio.
And with barely a minute of the show gone, the questions of how it felt to miss the summer England fell back in love with football were already flying in.
Although he kept a brave face, the pain in his voice was obvious to anyone.
Chamberlain sombrely describes just how bad his injury and how the timing of it couldn’t have been worse – just as he had established himself in an extremely exciting Liverpool side and was planning to meet up with England for a World Cup.
He was then asked to reveal what it was like to watch on from the sofa while his friends and teammates became the most-loved England side for the past 20 years.
But his response was absolutely perfect.
“I can’t sit here and lie and say it was easy, it was really difficult because I had a really realistic chance to playing and definitely be there,” the Ox began.
We all felt for him after lifting the lid on his setback.
Then he cheered everyone up instantly as he switched ‘straight into England fan mode’.
And he encapsulated how the nation felt as they watched England do things we thought we might never see… like win a penalty shoot-out.
“It was great to see, I was so excited for them, I was definitely enjoying myself,” he added.
It further demonstrated the feeling of togetherness in the England squad that had been missing for years.
A young player who was in the form of his life had the crushing blow of missing a World Cup having featured throughout qualifying and yet he was still just excited to see his teammates succeed on the world stage.
Gareth Southgate has brought England further than we ever imagined.
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