Even Alan Shearer lost the run of himself as England walloped Ukraine
"Hopefully, in another week, it'll be football coming home."
The BBC pundits were practically giddy before a ball was kicked at the Stadio Olimpico. They even hooked up with Trent Alexander-Arnold on his hollliers, at half-time, to welcome him on to their bandwagon.
The Canadians invented basketball, but you rarely hear them bleating about basketball coming home during the Olympics or NBA playoffs.
We all knew what was coming after England beat Germany 2-0, earlier in the week, and Gary Lineker declared, "It's coming, Rome."
You could forgive most countries for looking at their side of the last eight draw, seeing Denmark, Czech Republic and Ukraine and thinking, 'We'll have that'. England never seem to learn their footballing lessons, though. They were very, confident against Croatia at the 2018 World Cup too..
Typical of the English football fans, driven by the commentariat, the nation went into overdrive.
The BBC had broadcasting rights, in the UK, for this one so there was no excitable Ian Wright, Southgate acolyte Gary Neville or voice of gruff reason, Roy Keane. Instead, we had Gary Lineker in studio with Frank Lampard, Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand. Before Lineker threw to the commentary team, we had a confident Shearer asking for 'a few early goals' so he could enjoy the spectacle. Ferdinand went further:
"I've never been as confident about an England team as I have been as this team, at this tournament."
England scored early, through Harry Kane, and they bossed most of the first half before a few shaky moments near the end. "Nervous with a small 'n'," we were told.
1-0 at the break and Lineker told viewers Gareth Southgate's men were 'confident, calm and in control'. The former England striker was purring about Jadon Sancho:
"It's quite clear to see, Manchester United have got something special."
Ferdinand, meanwhile, was preaching CONCENTRATION.
"All we have to do is concentrate for the next 45 minutes and we'll be through, boys," declared Ferdinand, as he envisioned himself being back in that England changing room.
There was even a cameo from Alexander-Arnold, as he dialled in from Spain to confirm that, yes, football was heading home. Thankfully, there was some more football so we could get away from these lads for a while.
The second half saw England put the game to bed as Luke Shaw delivered goals on toasty plates for Kane and Harry Maguire. Jordan Hemderson ended his 67-game run for a first England goal and it was 4-0.
Back to Wembley for the semi-finals and a meeting with Denmark. "A team you'd fancy yourself against," Ferdinand declared.
Even the normally level-headed Alan Shearer was losing the run of himself:
"My head is telling me to calm down, but my heart is getting carried away."
— Kevin Twynholm (@KT29_) July 3, 2021
As for Lineker, he was lapping up everything the England boys were saying. Henderson switched the focus to the Denmark semi-final and Lineker was practically gushing. "These young men are a credit to their country and their sport."
As per usual with England, when they are playing good football at big tournaments, it is best to just appreciate what they do on the pitch and take these pundits in small doses.
We will leave the final word on another dominant night for England with Ferdinand:
"It's almost as if they're purring now, and waiting to put their foot to the floor... This is different, Gary. This is different."