From this to now giddy giggles and skipping. I'm going to have to avoid actually looking at the team sheet before kick off and if I can do that then I might have some success in watching the whole game through and actually giving a ****. I prefer the days of delusion when we believed we might win it. The build up to this England game (even with all the controversy) lacks the chest pumping pride and excitement of previous tournaments (I lied about the giddy giggles and skipping - I'm saving them for Apple's WWDC 2012 which kicks off around 6pm GMT and might end up being a worthy escape).
So yes, nobody is expecting us to do much. We're pedestrian at best. Dour and unsexy. Workman like but with the occasional piece of trickery and guile. France unbeaten in twenty-one with plenty to prove. We could still surprise everyone and actually get a result and then that belief might return. Or they could brush us aside which would mean the tabloids unleash headline hell. What's been institutionalised over the decades is that it's all or nothing supporting England, the expectation was that we would always be in with a shout to win it (get knocked out at the QF stage). Maybe beating France will ignite that chest pumping. I'm waffling. I'm trying really hard to find some genuine passion from somewhere. If John Terry scores I might actually throw myself at the tv in protest, with grenade in mouth.
Maybe I should just admit my opinion hasn't really changed, I just want it to change and the fact that I can't even get hyped up about my country sums up how the delusion has transcended to disillusionment. Once upon a time, I'd not have questioned any of it. When your club team is struggling you don't disown or turn your back or lose that love for them (if you're not a glory hunter - although not sure glory hunting comes into it with a national side. You can't pick your nation, you are your nation, at least you're meant to be). Once upon a time I had as much love for the Three Lions that I have for the Cockerel. It's all gone very wrong somewhere and the fact I can't answer it leaves me conflicted still.
This is hardly a rousing pre-match battle cry is it? Sorry. So good luck England, good luck Roy.
Here's to dicking the French. It's got to be worth tuning in just for the off chance that might happen.