Gareth Southgate has insisted the “It’s Coming Home” chant is a product of England’s “unique” sense of humour – and is NOT arrogant.
The gaffer hit back after foreign media accused Three Lions fans of overconfidence ahead of today’s final against Italy at Wembley according to The Sun
It’s coming home are the opening words and chorus to Three Lions, written by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds for Euro ’96 in England.
In a press conference this evening, Southgate jumped to England fans’ defence – pointing out that Brits had a self-deprecating sense of humour and were well aware of their team’s past failures.
Southgate, who missed a crucial penalty in the Euro 96 semi-final against Germany, said for a long time he could not listen to the song – as it was too painful.
“It’s certainly not arrogance. The lyrics are making fun of ourselves really. It has always appeared at tournaments.
“The atmosphere in the ground has been great.”
The lyrics are making fun of ourselves really. It has always appeared at the tournaments
And in a cheeky nod to the chant, Southgate told reporters he wants to “bring the trophy home”.
He added: “We’re in a final and we’re here to win.
“Now we want to go and bring the trophy home.”
It follows reports that ministers have been told to stop saying “It’s Coming Home” because the England song “does not go down well overseas”.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport officials warned the song lyric could scupper the UK and Ireland bid to host the 2030 World Cup.
A Whitehall email seen by PoliticsHome, read: “As stressed before, please do encourage your ministers not to use ‘it’s coming home’ with the news media and social media.
“I know we’re swimming against the tide, but we know this does not go down well overseas – and strategically we need to do all we can to make ourselves welcoming to the football authorities when the UK and Ireland is scoping out a bid for 2030.”
The song has become integral to English football with Boris Johnson even urging the nation to “bring it home” after England’s nail-biting semi-final win against Denmark on Wednesday.
Responding to one US writer, who said the song was a ‘Brexit psychodrama’, the comedian wrote: “It’s about how we mainly lose but still irrationally believe that this time, hope might triumph over experience.
“It’s about yearning and magical thinking. It’s about the condition of being a football fan.
“Admittedly people have taken Football’s Coming Home to mean all sorts of b******s.”
“It’s a love song about the England team and being a football fan in general.”
Another said: “It’s the optimism of being a fan of either a club or a nation that never wins b*gger all.
“You still turn up every week thinking that you’ll win.”