No matter how much I've tried to convince myself otherwise, I do care about England's progression in Euro 2012, and like a good proportion of the nation I will be finishing work early later this afternoon and settling down in front of the TV to cheer on Roy's Boys.
I've watched almost every minute of every game so far despite not giving much thought to the tournament in the months leading up to it. Funny how things change. In all honesty, I'm a sucker for a major tournament and have been since Espana 82 when I fell head over heels in love with football at the impressionable age of 8. The impact that World Cup had on me was immense, and I hold those memories dear. Of course, by coincidence, England played France in the opening game of that tournament, also. How we'd like to see a repeat of Robson's first minute goal (pic above) and a repeat of that 3-1 scorline!
shadow companion on the sofa over the weekend has been my son, Thomas. At 5.5 he's still a little young to take it all in, but it's definitely his keenness to watch that has raised my interest ten fold. I had a glorious few hours on Saturday afternoon watching ESPN Classics's 500 greatest goals with the lad. How nice it was for me to introduce players to him of the calibre of Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, Platini, Zidane, Klinsmann, van Basten et al.
Now, when we play footy in the front room, he announces himself as a Rooney or a Gerrard (sorry Johnnie Jackson, you've been temporarily outed). I can't wait to get home where I know I'll find him in his Charlton kit ready for the game. We'll have a brief kick-about before the match starts and then we'll stand together for the national anthems; chests puffed out!
I may even afford myself a few extra moments to dig out the St. Georges flag from the loft and hang it proudly outside my house.
I expect nothing, but hope for everything! Eng-er-land, Eng-er-land, Eng-er-land...