I think we're now seeing why Hodgson was the right man for the job. He knows how to make the most of a team's strengths, account for its limitations and get previously under-performing players (eg Gerrard) to make genuine contributions.
Scott Parker is doing well. I don't understand why people are still criticising him for not doing things he isn't in the team to do. He's not Andreas Iniesta, he lacks either the vision or the skill to play truly incisive passes. But he can make simple passes and make himself available to receive the return - perhaps better than any other England defensive midfielder of recent times. After a difficult first 15 mins or so of last night's game, Parker was the hub of a 15(or so)-pass sequence. It didn't lead to a chance for his team, but it relieved that early pressure. He didn't give much away all night.
The 'goal that wasn't', meanwhile, only underlines what a waste of air miles and hotel space these goal-line officials are. Surely one of the situations they're most primed for is one where an attacker is through on goal and a defender is running back beyond the 'keeper(?) Even if it was 'too difficult' to see that the ball was in, that again suggests the role is useless.
Italy will probably be favourites in the QF. But even getting that far, and encouraging a slight growth in expectation in doing so, is more than most England supporters hoped for before the tournament started.
I heard a couple of callers and Alan say that should England win Euro 2012 it is not enough (my fault for putting on 606). When Greece won in 2004 nothing delighted Alan about it, if England win it 2012 then so far nothing has delighted him and a series of callers agree so it would be a hollow win. Apparently we have to be realistic and see that England have been poor. I would see being realistic as thinking we would be lucky to finish second in the group yet we have actually topped the group undefeated so should be allowed to have a slight feeling of joy. I know I shouldn't be happy at England not losing a game and should be focusing on how we don't have the ball enough or whatever other stick we should beat the team with, but I am a little bit happy. Cheers Roy.