World Cup 2018: 6 England Players Whose Stock Rose (And 3 Whose Dropped)

Not everyone can be as popular as Gareth Southgate.

Kieran Trippier, England
Sky Sports/FIFA

After suffering an agonising semi final loss to Croatia, England's World Cup dream is over for another four years. In recent times following The Three Lions' exit from major tournaments, there has always followed something of an inquest into why the side failed. This year, however, the post elimination feeling is very different to what came after the loss against Iceland in 2016, failing to progress from the group stage in 2014, and crashing out on penalties against Italy in 2012.

This is because with a group of young players and an up and coming, passionate manager with nothing to lose, the England team has instilled hope into the nation again. It was different this time. The players were smiling and playing with the freedom of lesser expectations, and used that to bring an entire country together, proud of English football for the first time in years.

While most of the players enjoyed what was a special tournament, some will have gone up in estimations around the world more than others, and a few others - a minority to be sure - leave Russia with their reputation slightly hurt by the experience.

9. Down - Marcus Rashford

Kieran Trippier, England
Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Before the start of the tournament, there were a few questions about the team Southgate would go with to open against Tunisia. Henderson or Dier? Pickford or Butland? Sterling or Rashford? In the battle of the Manchester forwards, it was Sterling who got the nod, and would start every game with the exception of the dead rubber against Belgium.

Throughout the entirety of the competition, England fans criticised Sterling and called for Rashford to start in his place. The Manchester United youngster got his chance in the third group game with England's qualification already guaranteed. Rashford also had 20 minutes against Tunisia, just under an hour against Croatia, and the entire second half against Belgium in the third place playoff.

With the sheer amount of fans rallying for Rashford to get a chance, it was a big disappointment that the youngster failed to make any kind of impact at all. Obviously, this isn't time to panic as this was the 19 year old's first World Cup, and he still has his entire career ahead of him.

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