So thanks to the head of Joleon Lescott and the hands of Joe Hart, the England team drew 1-1 with France and took their unbeaten run under manager Roy Hodgson to three games.
Despite the many challenges and injuries to have hit the England team in the run up to the tournament, it managed to emerge on an even standing with the superior French squad. So far, so good.
But there is still a very big obstacle standing between Roy’s boys and the quarter finals. And that’s Ukraine, who are top of Group D after beating Sweden 2-1 last night courtesy of two headers from 35-year old Andriy Shevchenko. I fear they will knock England out of Euro 2012. And the papers, pundits and people of England will not hold back when it comes to saying who’s to blame, with Roy Hodgson, Steven Gerrard, John Terry, the FA, Fabio Capello all prime candidates.
But I believe the travel buyers will have to take responsibility.
My reasoning comes from a study, covered in more detail here
which measured the heart rates of those travelling over a 72 hour period against a control group of non-travellers. It suggested international travel can result in reduced mental capacity and levels of tolerance.
Next Tuesday, England will be the travellers, having flown five flights of more than 3,000 miles between Krakow in Poland and Donetsk in Ukraine. The Ukraine team will be the non-travellers, having played all their games in their home country. This leaves me somewhat concerned about England’s chances of progression.
So, if England do get knocked out next week, with John Terry playing with lower levels of tolerance and Wayne Rooney suffering from a reduced mental capacity, don’t blame Roy, blame the travel buyers.