1966 - the golden year for English football - the year that the three lions conquered the rest of the footballing world, including arch-rivals West Germany in the final. The year that seemingly paved the way for English football to thrive and prosper on the back of the historic triumph.
Fast-forward close to 50 years, and here we are, still waiting for our next major international trophy. Where did it all go wrong?
Well, firstly, let us examine the composition of the Premier League in England. The top teams are built largely on the skills of foreign players, particularly in terms of attacking threat.
Liverpool, for example, are overly reliant on Luis Suarez, Chelsea on their trio of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar. Manchester United and Arsenal have both been counting on Robin van Persie to score goals consistently.
This clearly indicates that there aren't any consistent English goalscorers in the top division. Wayne Rooney has fluctuated every season, and is deemed by many to be past his best.
Whereas Danny Welbeck, his club strike-partner, was diabolical in front of goal last season, only scoring two goals.
Whilst many would argue that Welbeck's running up and down the pitch was in fact helpful to United's team dynamic, if he is to be picked for England as a striker, then he simply must up his goal ratio to at least 15 or 20 goals a season.
Jermaine Defoe had a good start to last season, before injury curtailed his campaign, and Daniel Sturridge looks fairly decent for Liverpool.
Yet none of these players can be seen as a finished article in front of goal. So, whilst England are able to keep the opposition from scoring fairly well, the ability to score at least three goals in a match looks to be non-existent.
Secondly, the England manager - always a subject of great debate. Hodgson's tactics in a match are... well, what exactly are they?
Apart from "pass it around the back", there doesn't seem to be a tangible playing style to England. Gary Lineker recently stated that England were back to the "dark ages", which I fully agree with.
Whilst teams such as Germany have evolved and developed intricate systems, switching freely between a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3 in the blink of an eye, England under Hodgson are effectively like wooden mannequins, rigidly going about their tasks without a hint of imagination.
It can be argued that English players simply lack the creativity to pass and move with the same ingenuity as players such Mario Gotze, Thomas Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger do so effectively for Germany.
However, the manager's task is surely to get the best out of his players - so if players such as Carrick can dictate play so easily for their club, why on earth can't they do it at national level?
The final area to take into consideration is the attitude to national football in England. Club managers are usually reluctant to release their players for national duty, not least when they are right before the opening game of the season (next week's match against Scotland being the perfect example of an unbelievably poorly planned fixture).
Furthermore, players are often seen as using the national team as a springboard for their club careers, an opinion voiced by Paul Scholes, when asked about why he retired from international football. Essentially, there is no team spirit in England - why hit a simple 5-yard pass when you can hit a 60-yarder to your teammate, which is inevitably going to go out of play and/or lead to nothing.
Whilst many fans are hopeful that an incisive England team is just around the corner, I am perhaps more realistic.
Until English players are given a chance to develop in the Premier League, a charismatic manager takes the helm, and the national team is viewed as the top priority for the sport, I'll take "quarter-final: lost on penalties" every time.
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