STILL the lessons about England have not been learned.
Still they are lauded to the skies, with Roy Hodgson emerging as the manager who has saved our footballing future.
That’s what happens when the side win six games in a row. Suddenly, all perspective goes out of the window.
Very soon, someone will start predicting England will win the 2016 European Championship, or, the World Cup two years later.
Predictions based on what?
Simply, that since their disastrous World Cup embarrassment, the Three Lions have beaten…wait for it…Norway,. Switzerland, San Marino, Estonia, Slovenia, and Scotland.
Not exactly the kind of opposition even England are likely to struggle against. How much more confident we would all feel if, among those six nations on the roll of honour, the names of Italy, France, Holland and Germany appeared instead?
But, no, suddenly England are great again, and mostly on the back of a win over a Scottish side that was as poor as any that has flattered to deceive over the last ten years.
One that produced a performance that was a total knock-back to the hordes of Tartan followers who really believed their country was on the march again. Listen, they only got as far as Hadrian’s Wall.
England beat them more easily than they could have hoped for, and that has unleashed a myriad of delirious comments from pens dipped in blissful prose. But, then, that has always been the case.
England have always been rated far higher than their performances have deserved. Remember, the so called Golden Generation that was supposed to come good in South Africa four years ago? They didn’t. And never looked likely to, just as Brazil last summer was another education for England in terms of falling far, far short of what is needed to dominate the game.
Wayne Rooney is being described as a superstar. Good player though he is, Rooney is nowhere near reaching the quality of legitimate heroes like Messi and Ronaldo.
It must be forgotten that he scored two in Glasgow on Tuesday against two defenders (Russell Martin and Grant Hanley) who play their football in the English Championship.
And, more to the point, at times the Scots were outclassed. When did England ever do that to an opposing team? Yet Rooney’s own description of our performances since Brazil was “fantastic.”
There, in South America, we were truly exposed for the kind of team we are: poor to average. If you remember, we lost our first two games and were on the way home before the sun tan lotion was unpacked.
Of course we need to support the country, need to offer encouragement to Hodgson who, it should be remembered, has yet to prove his international credentials.
And it is right that we should talk up every victory. But praise must be tempered with reality, and must be distributed only when it is merited.
Ask any football follower: the six nations on our hit list are nowhere near good enough to make England believe we are on the march again.
The Scots had hard truth poured all over them earlier this week. Like yesterday’s cold porridge. Time perhaps for some to spill over England, Hodgson and Rooney.
PICTURE COURTESY OF: Jeff Holmes Pix