"But regardless of that, I think the football across the board has been really exciting, really entertaining, and the hosting of the tournament and the cities that have hosted it has been outstanding".
In the last four they met their 1990 World Cup semi-final nemesis Germany, who gatecrashed the hosts' party by winning a penalty shootout after England's sixth spot-kick - taken by Southgate - was saved.
'We were at home and I went to get changed and I thought, "Hmm, shall I wear those socks?"
"We're excited about the future but want to make the most of the opportunity we have [now]". For a stage as grand as the FIFA World Cup, a combination of elite footballers within a dynamic tactical system is often the easiest route to strike gold, as Didier Deschamps has managed to do with France, leading Les Bleus to successive finals in 2016 Euro and 2018 World Cup.
"A lot of young players were involved two years ago, suffered huge disappointment, we could have ignored that and looked to the future but we felt it was important to unpick it and find out exactly why we've had 10 years since we won a knockout game.
Now I want to go and see what's going on in Russian Federation", said one fan, Michael Roberts, 27, as he waited for his flight. First win on penalties in the World Cup.
"Our supporters and our country has had a long time suffering in terms of football".
Waistcoat mania has well and truly become something else to the point where tomorrow is also being referred to as '#WaistcoatWednesday' in support of England's crucial semi-final game against Croatia.
"This team is nowhere near the level they will be capable of, partly because of age and partly because over the years they'll have more big-match experience".