Watching England is sometimes like watching your favourite pet slowly fading away - you know they are never going to recover but you still retain that hope that things may change.
I have watched England over the years mainly because I fear missing out on that one game, or that one piece of genius, that everyone will be talking about after the match and for years to come.
All too often though I find myself harking back to the same old questions like why did so and so get selected instead of so and so? And why don't our players play at the same tempo or show the same commitment they do in the Premier League? This time none of these questions crossed my mind during the ninety minutes against Brazil.
Once England had settled into the game, and particularly after Joe Hart's penalty save, they produced a performance that I have long since demanded from them. They played with passion for the Three Lions on their chest, pressed the Brazilians at the right times and as a unit and showed that they can adapt to different formations.
Key personnel also showed their worth. Ashley Cole, often slated for his off-field antics, showed why he has won 100 caps for his country, Wayne Rooney and Steve Gerrard gave their usual 100 per cent effort and Frank Lampard came off the bench and weighed in with another quality strike.
It was crucial also that the youngsters in the squad showed their worth and potential. The main shining light for me was Jack Wilshere, who performed with a great deal of maturity and skill in midfield, and Theo Walcott finally showed that he can perform for England like he has for Arsenal this season.
England do not have the technical ability like the Brazilians but they made up for it with plenty of heart, grit, determination and a very good passing game, which was a breath of fresh air. Another bonus was that there weren't too many substitutions that inevitably disrupt the flow of the game, ruining the spectacle for fans and pundits alike.
Was this the new England that I was watching? My idea of writing about another England disappointment has been firmly cast aside. My optimism now is so high that I am sure I will be disappointed in the next game but for once I do not have that overwhelming feeling of disappointment.
Maybe I should make the most of it because I am sure that it is just around the corner. That's what supporting England does to you!
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