Whenever I clap eyes upon my beloved England team, I do so with an anxiety undoubtedly expressed poignantly by my compatriots in living-rooms across the country. The passion of a night in watching our beloved Three Lions play, where the threatening malevolence that undermines our opponents is infectious, is curiously never translated onto the stands of the New Wembley.
Now, I confess that, occasionally, watching the National team play is tantamount to watching a nonsensical soap with the opposite sex. Frustrations with the attitude of the current squad are at an all-time high (if not a little slackened by that Comic Relief sketch), and yet the atmosphere around Wembley on match days seems far less intense than the burning enthusiasm of Spanish fans at the Bernabeu or the barricade of rhythmical exuberance expressed by the Brazilians at the Maracana.
It has to be admitted that the atomization of our squad rarely relies on a more complex tactic than a David Beckham free-kick, but older fans who remember that victorious day on the 30th July 1966 will argue vehemently that when Bobby Moore held the Jules Rimet trophy aloft, the Lion really did stir.