OKAY, so it was disappointing to go out to the Italians in Euro 2012 this week.
But at least we can say we didn’t concede a goal and didn’t lose to them during the course of normal time and extra time!
And a lot of credit for that has to go to manager Roy Hodgson and coaches Ray Lewington and Gary Neville, who have done a terrific job in the short time they have been in the respective posts.
There were a lot more positives than negatives to take out of the tournament, one massive one being that Hodgson has succeeded in managing to get everyone wanting to play for their country once again.
That is definitely something we didn’t have under Mr Capello!
On the Italy game itself, however, I do think the substitutions could have been better organised, because I felt that both Steve Gerrard and Scott Parker were struggling after the first 30 minutes.
Their legs had clearly gone, having done so much running in the first half and in the previous games against Sweden and the Ukraine.
I would have been tempted to leave Danny Wellbeck on because I think he was still full of running.
Unfortunately, when they ran out of steam, the ‘engine room’ had gone and from that point on we struggled.
Injuries robbed us of both Frank Lampard – who did the job brilliantly for Chelsea in the Champions League triumph – and Gareth Barry, who were the two players who would have been capable of holding up that midfield .
Another player unavailable because he wasn’t fit was Jack Wilshere, who would have provided us with a base to go forward.
But, unfortunately, we didn’t have those options available to us, and we simply didn’t have any fresh legs.
Another of our problems, which is part of the English psyche, is that we think we have to attack every time we get the ball. Other teams will concentrate on retaining possession while probing for openings.
Teams playing England also realise that when we play the ball back to our keeper, everyone funnels back and there is no immediate lay off and we have to start again.