“He was rightly voted the greatest Brit of all time on a TV show a few years ago. As a reminder, Mister Southgate: Churchill’s enemies were Hitler and Goring – not Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer.
“Hardly any of the spectators at the round of 16 at Wembley Stadium saw the end of the war 76 years ago.
“The English press, which used to like to get the old ghosts out of the box, has long since let it go. They last appeared at the European Championship in 1996, when the English superstar Paul Gascoigne was shown wearing a steel helmet. Next to the headline: ‘Caution, surrender’, ‘Caution, surrender’.
“After a storm of indignation in England, the world war is no longer a story in football. Since then, ‘wars’ have only been waged with towels on Mallorca.”