Proper football is back and were you surprised?

I don't want you to think I'm anti-England when you read this post and for the most part, I've been as optimistic as the next man, but are any of us really surprised that we lost last night?

Someone told me the other day that England had the best squad at the World Cup and when I started to look at it, I have to agree. We have two players in pretty much every position that would get in to many of the squads that took part in this tournament.

But we're soft and whenever we come up against a harder side, a more street smart side, we're beaten. There is also nobody to blame. You can't blame Harry Kane for missing the penalty that might have got us extra time and you can't blame Gareth Southgate because he can't get make the team more street smart or harder.

But you can change things if you have to. In the case of Harry Kane, who scores many many more penalties than he doesn't, you just put it down to bad luck. In the case of the manager, you replace him with someone that can make them smarter and harder.

And I don't know who that is. But what I do suspect is that this manager makes managing England complicated.

At the last World Cup we got to the semi-finals but it was an easy route. In the European championships, we lost to a side that couldn't even qualify for this World Cup. At this World Cup, the first decent side we came up against beat us.

And the thing is, it was so predictable and I know it was, because of the first sentence of this post.

And proper football is nearly back

And now that that shambles is over, we turn our attention to Liverpool that come to Villa Park on Boxing Day and it's a big game. Big for many reasons, but mostly because there is real reason to be optimistic about Aston Villa.

And in other news, or actually speculation, there is growing talk about Joao Felix coming to England in January and that Aston Villa are in contention. I have to tell you again, I know little about him as a player. I know what Wikipedia tells me but other than that, not much.

But I know he's got a big agent and I know that the newspapers publish what they are told to publish, so there is a lot of hype about a player that is sure to demand a hefty salary and quite possibly a not so hefty transfer fee. Can anyone tell me if he's that good?

And on all that, there will be another post soon I'm sure, but the World Cup is over and we should turn our attention to Aston Villa because it's proper football.