FA chairman Greg Dyke has certainly been making the headlines with his comments about what the England team should and shouldn’t achieve.
Taking away some of the more sensational rhetoric, I couldn’t agree more with his general message.
I think people should be really positive about the national team and hate it when I see fans being interviewed outside grounds and saying they have no interest in England, just in Manchester United, Arsenal or whoever their team is.
I just don’t understand how you can’t be interested in England’s prospects.
There is a lot of talk about too many foreign players in the Premier League restricting opportunities for our own best young players, but I think generally that the England set-up is moving in the right direction.
Roy Hodgson is the perfect manager. The energy and appetite for playing for England just didn’t seem to be there when Fabio Capello was in charge. It looked like a burden for the players simply to be in the squad at that time.
Now, with Hodgson in charge and Ray Lewington and Gary Neville at his side, there is tremendous drive and enthusiasm and they will demand the players buy in.
I think the present crop of players – and those coming through – want to perform for England and want to produce top performances.
We might be limited in some areas with natural ability, and we don’t have the technical gifts of some of the continental sides, but we’ve still got a damned good high-quality line-up of players who, under the current management, are showing the desire we want to see.
I certainly want them to be on that plane to Brazil and to be talking about them in the World Cup next year – can we fight it out of the group? Can we reach the quarter-finals? All that sort of stuff.
We should be excited about seeing the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott and Sturridge, and Jack Wiltshire could become one of our best midfielders for years.
Even the more experienced players are showing their hunger, so I can’t be doing with the snipers.
Let’s be positive about England, back them to get the job done against Moldova and then look forward to them performing in Ukraine on Tuesday.