I have always been a real football fan. It has been a huge part of my life and time after time I have been left disappointed by the performance of the England team. I remember drinking alone in Berlin the night that we lost a two goal lead against Germany in the 1970 World Cup.
I remember the devastation of the loss against Poland four years later. The 'hand of God goal'and the other defeats along the line. So many hopes and so little success. We have always had the players but in my opinion we have never had the management. OK I concede that Terry Venables nearly made it in 1996 but the best manager we never had was of course the irascible Brian Clough!
So here we go again because tonight we took on Belarus after a run of six games without defeat (I think) and once again our boys triumphed against a very skilful team. There is a spirit in the current team which is difficult to quantify. Something is going on because they are united, respectful and motivated. These boys are giving everything for the cause and they seem desperate to achieve.
This team is not the finished article. There are still deficiencies along the left flank which I am sure Joe Cole will solve. The full backs do not always fill people with confidence. The Lampard/Gerrard debate will continue which is probably the major challenge for the manager.
That is the conundrum. At long last England have a manager who the press cannot attack! He is the real deal and the players are responding. The press must be wondering how they will sell their papers! Fabio runs a tight ship. He obviously has the respect of the millionaires and even someone like Steven Gerrard is concerned that he may be dropped. That means that this team is together and that is the reputation that Fabio Capello has. He builds a family team. Nobody of stature wants to be on the outside looking in.
England may be on the march. It has been a long time but I hope that we win the World Cup again before I die. It is a major task.