Saturday 28th March
Though not the most obsessive of spectators I do try to watch England play football. I must say it is almost always a disappointing experience; in fact many times I have despaired at our performance. Too many times one is watching very rich young men who appear to not really give a damn whether they win or lose, they seem to enjoy playing for their clubs but when it comes to playing for country they sink into a lackluster torpor. And when the F.A appointed Roy Hodgson rather than the nation’s favourite Harry Redknapp I shared the underwhelming feeling of “Oh no, why on earth did they choose him?” England got bundled out of the World Cup at the first hurdle in what turned out to be one of the toughest of groups. Maybe they were unlucky or poorly prepared or simply lacked enough confidence. But the F. A. kept faith with Roy and strangely ever since their early exit from Brazil England have been very very good. Winning all four of their European Qualifying matches they are looking superb.
So, for a change I was really looking forward to watching them last night. There was also the added spice of Harry Kane, the phenomenon of the year who is the Premier League’s leading goal-scorer, expected to make his debut. And I was not disappointed. England were simply brilliant. Rooney could have had a hat-trick within ten minutes but had to settle for one, bringing him ever closer to being the highest England scorer ever. Two more goals followed and you got the feeling that whenever we got the ball a goal was possible. Harry Kane did not start but spent five minutes waiting on the touchline and eventually came on for the last twenty minutes, and fairy-tale stuff, he scored within two minutes. What a man and what a match. We are top of our group and top of our game.