AS AN English football fan, I associate watching my national side with stress.
In my mind’s eye, either we’re being found out by a top side, or struggling to unpick an inferior one.
But tonight, thanks to a brace of early goals to settle the nerves, it was a comfortable 3-0 in Sofia against a solid Bulgarian side lacking a cutting edge.
Before the match the home side we reportedly struggling to sell their tickets – evidenced by the backdrop of empty seats I saw tonight – such was the lack of belief that Bulgaria could spring a surprise.
Normally in these situations it’s England who cause their own problems – but thanks to Gary Cahill and Wayne Rooney (2) goals and a relentlessly-pressing game plan it was plain sailing.
I still have some reservations about this England side – is Scott Parker controlled enough to anchor our midfield? Is Joe Hart even paying attention? and what exactly what does Gareth Barry do?
But these are small fry – tonight I have drunk beer and genuinely relaxed watching England stroll towards qualification, and I won’t ask any more than that tonight.