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England face tall order before they even get to Qatar | Sport

It was Michel Platini who said England are “lions in the winter and lambs in the summer”. Or was it “lions in autumn”? It’s one of those aphorisms that has been so recycled that, in the archives, different versions exist. A few years ago, the phrase was wheeled back out and reattributed to Fabio Capello.

However, lions in the middle of the club season, lambs by the time it’s over and a summer finals comes around — we all know what Platini meant. England’s 56 trophyless years have been arid partly because, by tournament time, that great English playing virtue — energy — has dried up.

One of the assumptions behind the notion that the 2022 World Cup represents a golden shot at glory for

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