Yep, surprised aren’t you? I’ll say it again. England will do well at this year’s European Championship. I’m not being overly optimistic, I’m not still drunk on jubilee juice (gin, the Queen’s tipple) and I’m not one of those football fans that get overly excited before tournament. Although I have been guilty of that in the past, I learnt from my experiences.

It’s an interesting time for English football. And it’s been a very interesting build up to the European Championships this year. It’s fair to say that the National team is in a state of transition at the moment. It’s out with the old guard and in with the new. Some of the older players are hanging on, Terry, Gerrard, Parker (where’s he been for the last five years?) etc. For Lampard and Rio Ferdinand, it’s fair to say, they may have already played their last game in an England shirt.


And then we have the new breed; Hart, Henderson, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck, etc. With the exception of Hart, these are names that may or may not struggle at this level but we have to suck it and see. If these guys are the future of England, then lets give them the experience. Looking at the squad on paper, admittedly decimated by injuries, it’s far from a Championship winning team. But it’s the best we’ve got.

And then there’s the manager. Every man and his dog believed the top job was going to Harry Redknapp. Even, Harry himself (note Tottenham’s alarming drop in form, as soon as he was touted). And then the F.A surprised us all and appointed Roy Hodgson. And the nation sighed a sigh of resignation.

'I thought this was fancy dress?'

To be fair to Roy, he appears to have gained support over the intervening weeks, although the whole Ferdinand saga has reminded everyone of what a precarious job it can be. Still, the fact remains, he’s the boss and we should get behind him. But it doesn’t disguise that fact, that for the first time in years, England had an opportunity to appoint the ‘people’s choice,’ someone that could have added some genuine excitement and renewed vigour in to our National team. It remains to be seen, if Roy will.

And this is why England will do well in this tournament. I’m not saying we’re going to win it. I’m not mental. But I do think that we’ll exceed expectations.

Why? Because expectations on the players and the managers have never been lower. We’re going in to a tournament for the first time in years, expecting crushing disappointment, rather than a being deluded in to believing we can win it. The weight of expectation is off, the pressure is off, and the players may even enjoy it. Remember South Africa? Have you ever seen a bunch of players look so unconvincing and utterly miserable?

Mark my words; we’re going to do OK.

There’s another reason, why I think we’ll do well. I’ve just drawn England in the work sweepstake. It’s written in the stars.