today's matches
tomorrow's matches

supporting england

England plays tomorrow, and that means it's time to trot out Nick Hornby:

"The unbearable hope -- and inevitable pain -- of supporting England at a World Cup."

England's relationship with Europe is complicated (at least from our side -- one suspects gloomily that it's much more straightforward over the Channel) and it's not hard to imagine that in the current climate, the England team means different things to different English people. If, as some fear, our far-right nutters clash with the Russian hard-right nutters, then feelings will become even more diffuse.

Of course, it would be great if England won the tournament but that "if" is too small to the naked eye to be any use to the editor of this piece. What many of us crave is an England team we can like: one that plays fast, muscular, ambitious English football, beats the teams that are inferior to them and goes out bravely to the one that's better.

It's not much to ask, but it would help an unhappy country to feel better about itself.