The Paul Rogers blog: Can England continue the "proud to be British" trend at Euro 2012? (From Hereford Times)
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The Paul Rogers blog: Can England continue the "proud to be British" trend at Euro 2012?
THE past week has been a joy to behold seeing millions of people celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
From street parties, to the Jubilee concert and beacons being lit, it was marvellous to witness so many people doing their bit to thank Her Majesty for giving 60 years of unrivalled service to the UK and indeed the whole of the Commonwealth.
It really did make you feel proud to be British.
Now we come along to Euro 2012 and hope and pray that England can continue the feel good factor that is currently eclipsing the country.
The Three Lions kick-off their group games against France on Monday, before they face Sweden next Friday (June 15) and Ukraine on June 19.
This is the first time that I recall that England have gone into a major tournament with no or little expectation behind them and that could work to their advantage.
Rememeber when Greece won Euro 2004 against all the odds or going further back, Denmark in 1992?
Stranger things have happened, but looking at the England squad, I think it would be nothing short of a miracle if they ended up winning it.
True, the Manchester City and Chelsea players will be going into the tournament full of vigiour after their respective teams won the Premiership and Champions League, but both Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill have been ruled out through injury and been replaced by Jordan Henderson and Martin Kelly respectively.
I don't know what Roy Hodgson's facscination with Liverpool is, but if Henderson and Kelly are the answers to our prayers then we really do need divine inspiration to help us.
Hodgson said that Rio Ferdinand was omitted from the squad due to "footballing reasons" rather than John Terry being embroiled in a racism row with his brother Anton.
But that looks even more stupid now that Kelly has been called up ahead of Ferdinand.
Personally, I think England would do well to get out of the group with an in-form France, a Sweden team that are always hard to beat (as England know from experience) and co-hosts Ukraine being amongst it.
And even if England do finish second (I can't see them winning it) then they will most certainly face Spain in the quarter-finals and then it will be curtains anyway.
Put it this way - I don't think the England flags will be flying out of people's houses for long during the duration of the tournament!