I know, I'm an Englishman, and because of that I can offer some comfort from similar disappointment in the past.
It's a sad fact but I nearly always enjoy football tournaments more when my own team does not qualify. I won't go into the details as it's depressing but watching World Cup as a neutral is far better.
Forget it's a sport you should be a part of, and if you really want to enjoy it, treat Russia 2018 as something more like a Netflix subscription.
Brazil, Belgium, Spain and France all play football like a movie directed by Luc Besson.
They will be out of this world to watch and it will probably be an experience like STAR TREK : DISCOVERY.
Germany are not far behind on the good to watch stakes but also have an admirable hypnotic sheen that would be like binge watching THE CROWN.
Italy, Uruguay and Argentina will be dramatic and gripping like BREAKING BAD
All the African teams will be as crazy entertaining as UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
Any English speaking teams will be hard to watch but with air of unmissable eventual tragedy, like BETTER CALL SAUL. England will typically take this to a whole new level and add awkward tragi-comedy that wouldn't be out of place in THE OFFICE.
Like STRANGER THINGS? Need an unlikley story of no-hopers winning out in a far off fantasy world - Iceland! Qualified! Iceland!
and finally.. to get to the he hosts of the World Cup 2018.. Have you seen ICARUS? The Russians have very little concept of fair play on current form and I would expect some of the antics with referees, officials, social media and mysterious information release to look quite a look like HOUSE OF CARDS (though MR ROBOT prob more appropriate).
If you really cannot watch as a neutral
- N Ireland
- Rep. Of Ireland
- New Zealand
are all in the playoffs and might still qualify
But for sheer entertainment I would follow Belgium