John Stones Fabio Capello Football Brazil Usa South Africa Iran John Stones Fabio Capello Football Brazil Usa South Africa Iran

After turning a corner, England now look for World Cup momentum against the USA

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As England began to play the ball around against Iran, they felt something different. “Definitely a click,” John Stones said of the 6-2 win. “Or a desire to put things right.

We had come out of a bad period.”They can now look through to the other side. England scored more goals against Iran than they did in the entire Nations League campaign.

The reality, however, was that it was a step up from Gareth Southgate’s general style rather than just the last eight months.“I guess people wouldn’t expect us to be like that having watched us for a couple of years and the style of football we play,” the manager acknowledged. “Maybe we regressed to the norm.”The challenge now is to make it the norm, and illustrate it was not partly a product of the disarray that Iran are in; that England have announced their credentials.If so, and Stones is right, it similarly reframes a match on Friday evening that could put Southgate’s side into the last 16.Much will of course be made about the USA’s proud World Cup history against England.

There was one of the greatest ever upsets in 1950. There was that tone-setting 1-1 in their 2010 group opener.There is a totally different context, however, if England are in completely different form.Both of those famous games came amid extreme circumstances, at the least.In 1950, it was an uncertain step into a new world, as England were playing just the second game of their first World Cup.

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