The public excitement around the England team will take something really special in the difficult conditions of Brazil to restore it to anything like its previous scale. Still, if we finish the year having beaten Scotland at Wembley, plenty will be happy enough. Maybe actually the FA's 150th anniversary fixture list is inspired after all, by the management of low expectations?
In almost every international tournament, Britons baying for success end up disappointed, often before the event is even half way through. As a nation, we stand these people - who regularly end up in the newspaper for one nightclub misdemeanour or another, one extramarital trifling or another, or the occasional on-pitch inappropriate remark - on pedestals and eulogise them as pillars of our nation.