It was the summer of 2010. England were definitely going to win the World Cup. After sailing through qualification thanks to a thumping, Theo Walcott-inspired 4-1 victory over Croatia and with Fabio Capello at the helm, football was really going to come home this time.
I know we'd said the same thing at the World Cup four years earlier, and at Euro 2004. We even said football was coming home before the 2008 European Championships, and we didn't even qualify for those.
But this time we really meant it. The golden generation were finally going to deliver and put an end to 44 years of pain.
England's 2010 World Cup campaign ended in a humiliating defeat - but is best remembered for one controversial moment, the ramifications for which are still being felt today.
There was a real pre-tournament buzz around this England side. Fabio Capello had won Sports Personality Coach of the Year for simply qualifying for the World Cup. And rightly so, he was head and shoulders above the other managers to have graced the England dugout over the past decade.
He didn't even own an umbrella like that godforsaken Steve McClaren, and he wasn't tactically naive like Sven-Goran Eriksson, playing Paul Scholes on the left wing to accommodate for Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in a rigid 4-4-2 formation. Capello was tactically astute. He played Steven Gerrard on the left wing to accommodate for Gareth Barry in a rigid 4-4-2 formation. Genius.
With James Corden and Dizzie Rascal's World Cup banger Shout ringing in their ears, the Three Lions headed to South Africa.
However, as soon as they touched down, England's ability to underwhelm at major tournaments hit new highs.
The Three Lions drew with the USA in the opening group game, thanks in part to Rob Green's infamous blunder, before playing out a turgid 0-0 with Algeria. Jermain Defoe's shin sent England through as group runners up with a 1-0 victory over Slovenia, setting up a tie against Germany in the last 16.
With an all important victory finally under their belts, England were now surely going to go on and fulfil their potential. Unfortunately, England found themselves 2-0 down inside 32 minutes thanks to goals from Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski and some questionable defending on the Three Lions behalf.
But five minutes later, Matthew Upson offered England a glimmer of hope by heading home to halve the deficit.
Moments after Upson's goal, and with the momentum suddenly swinging, England were level. Frank Lampard struck a bobbling ball on the half volley, and it looped over Manuel Neuer and in off the under side of the bar. Lampard wheeled away in celebration, the England bench were on their feet; a magnificent turn around had been completed.
Except the assistant referee waved play on.
The naked eye could tell the ball had crossed the line, with replays confirming just how clear cut it was.
But no goal was given and for all England's impetus and momentum in the second half, they were eventually undone by two more slick Germany goals, sealing an emphatic 4-1 victory for Joachim Löw's side.
England had been deservedly beaten over the course of 90 minutes, but the ghost goal came at such a pivotal time in the match, it would have changed the course of the game, leaving a real taste of injustice. It was vintage England heartbreak.
Germany of course said it was history repairing itself for Geoff Hurst's controversial goal line goal in the 1966 World Cup final. But come on Germany, get over it.
Who even talks about the 1966 World Cup final now, apart from England fans all the time?
Although Lampard's goal that never was could not prevent England from crashing out of the World Cup, as the golden generation waved good bye to their final shot at international glory, it did finally offer the impetus needed to persuade Fifa and Sepp Blatter to venture into goal line technology. The governing body and its president had been stringently against the introduction of the technology, but it was finally implemented in 2012.
And Sheffield United versus Aston Villa aside, the technology has changed football for the better.
Source : 90min