For English soccer, the first two-week international period of the new season often doubles as the next phase of a post-mortem into the national team's failings at a recent tournament.
Not so much this time.
As the squad gathered at its St. George's Park training base this week ahead of matches against Spain and Switzerland, it was a chance for the players to reminisce about their journey to the World Cup semifinals during a summer when the English fell back in love with their vibrant team.
Yet, despite all the euphoria, soccer didn't come home and the wait for a first international title since 1966 goes on.
England will do well to address the reasons behind the semifinal loss to Croatia, particularly the flaws in its midfield, rather than bask in its unlikely progress to the last four in Russia.
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Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80