There is plenty for England to take away from their World Cup adventure over in Russia, chiefly the feeling of restoring pride in a country that had fallen out of love with the national team.
Gareth Southgate will also look back on the last month as a potential stepping stone for his young team and is likely to stress that in the coming months.
Expectation levels will almost certainly soar as a result of reaching the last four as England start planning for Euro 2020 straight away.
Sportsmail looks at what could change and what the FA might want to keep the same over the next two years.
England suffered heartbreak in the World Cup semi-finals, losing 2-1 on Wednesday night
It seems unfathomable that anyone but Southgate will lead the team in a European Championship played across the continent and finishing at Wembley.
The 47-year-old must view this tournament as a bonus, with the FA’s eyes on the Euros and Qatar before what became an improbable journey in Russia. In many ways they are ahead of schedule.
Southgate might look back on defeat by Croatia with rueful eyes — his substitutions being one area — but he can also take real heart from galvanising an unfancied squad of players.
Gareth Southgate has earned plaudits for the way his side exceeded expectations in Russia
That he has forged such a close bond with all of them this summer and some beforehand with the Under 21s is a significant positive.
Marks & Spencer should probably get stocking thousands more of their navy waistcoats ahead of 2020 after Southgate became the most popular England manager in a generation.
You suspect Harry Kane will be leading England out for as long as he wants to and the hope is Wednesday night doesn’t leave any lasting scars.
He’ll still only be 26 by the next European Championships, presumably with close to another 100 career goals under his belt. It’d be hugely beneficial to England if Tottenham won a trophy between now and then – should Kane remain at White Hart Lane.
The hope is that England will be less reliant on their striker in 2020. Kane didn’t appear fit in Moscow — no fault of his own — but had to soldier on regardless.
England captain Harry Kane said he was ‘gutted’ after they were knocked out of the World Cup
The key thing for Southgate is England have the makings of a strong spine moving forward. Jordan Pickford should retain the No 1 jersey and John Stones had a terrific tournament – albeit blighted by a momentary loss of concentration in extra-time on Wednesday.
Dele Alli, still only 22, will have matured further, while Kane is an obvious mainstay. Those men should give England a strong base from which to build in the future.
As an aside, Raheem Sterling’s importance was outlined by the team’s continued dip in performance after he was substituted.
Jordan Pickford made a number of important saves for Southgate’s side during the World Cup
Ashley Young and Jamie Vardy will be 35 and 33, respectively, by the time the European Championship has finished. Danny Rose really ought to be looking at cementing that wing back place as his own from hereon in, while Vardy’s continued inclusion will depend on form.
Gary Cahill will be 34 so unlikely to still be around. It’ll be interesting to see whether Danny Welbeck, now 27 but having dipped in and out for Arsenal, will still be in Southgate’s thoughts.
Jamie Vardy, who came on during the 2-1 defeat by Croatia, will be 33 in the summer of 2020
It’s very difficult to call who will definitely step up in the coming years. There has been a lot of talk surrounding Phil Foden but 2020 feels like it might be too soon.
Of that batch, Ryan Sessegnon stands the best chance of breaking through, depending on how well he takes to the Premier League with Fulham.
Lewis Cook is one to watch. Whether Bournemouth manage to keep him remains to be seen and despite Jordan Henderson’s impressive displays, that central midfield spot is very much for grabs looking ahead to 2020 and beyond.
Could Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon (R) and Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook (R) come into the side?
Is this the line up?
Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Lingard, Dier, Alli, Rose; Sterling; Kane
Trying to predict a future team is an almost impossible task, of course, and there will be the emergence of someone who had not immediately sprung to mind.
Looking at the options, however, does throw up some real questions. Can Marcus Rashford kick on at Manchester United? Will Southgate look to Eric Dier, or another, next time with age a potential factor for Henderson?
Is there a way of getting the (real) best out of Sterling in this formation? Is there a hunt for a genuine centre half to play on the right? Can Ruben Loftus-Cheek find games at Chelsea or will he depart?
Many of the side that faced Croatia in Moscow will be young enough to come again in 2020
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