'Calm down, England haven't won yet'
I’d like to be the first to congratulate England on getting through to the quarter-final stage of Euro 2012.
Considering the awful preparation the squad had and how little time Roy Hodgson had to settle into the job, it’s a miracle they’ve managed to qualify, let alone top the group. It was so refreshing in the build up to the tournament not to be billed as the next ‘golden generation’ and ‘favourites for the trophy’ by the press and blindly-optimistic English football fans...it was all very low-key -and all the better for it.
But now, that bolshy, over-patriotic and moronic insistence that we are destined to end ‘46 years of hurt’ is creeping back - both in the press in England and among expat fans here in the UAE. Cries of ‘we’re going all the way!’, ‘we can win this thing!’ and ‘who can stop us now?’ after a few unconvincing victories make me despair.
I implore everyone to calm down and look at things objectively. England were lucky to draw with France and scraped to victory in the other two games. Their next opponents are Italy and then, potentially, Germany, Spain or Portugal. I will be backing England to the hilt on Sunday but will be going into it realistically - expecting to be beaten by a far more experienced Italian side - and will be happy just to have got this far.
I hope others stop getting so carried away and realise that after four decades of mediocrity, we can put this belief that we deserve to win it simply because we’re England well and truly to bed.
Realistic England fan, Dubai