Football’s Coming Home is a song we’ve been singing for more decades than I care to remember and an ever sanguine, if not so little Englander, like me continues to hope that this time the key has been left under the doormat.
It is far too early to make any serious judgement but at least Gareth Southgate seems to have assembled a young and talented squad of players who can articulate both on the field and off. However it now remains to be seen whether they are strong enough to cope with their ambition as the big boys come out to play, muscles flexed.
We look forward to tomorrow's England-Scotland clash at Wembley Stadium with lip-lapping relish though perhaps less so the tartan hordes now descending on London, the majority of them ticket-less and set on consuming a not so wee dram or two. And we wish Wales well with the hope that their very own game-changing Gareth can Bale the them out against the apparently unbeatable Italians on Sunday.
Putting nationalistic prejudices aside, football’s European Championship, which like the Olympics had been postponed from last year, is proving a winner against the pandemic. It has played a significant role in lifting the gloom that has shrouded the world during an era described by the British Prime Minister as the darkest since World War II. The same can be said for sport in general.
Surely with Royal Ascot - in all its frippery and finery - a Grand Slam in tennis and some even grander slamming in boxing with behind-closed-doors title fights, there has been plenty to occupy the sports fan and some of it may even have captivated those who do not quite as affectionately follow the games others play. For example, I have just spent a week in a respite care home following an episode of taking the knee in a strictly non-political sense. On a recent afternoon I witnessed an elderly lady who would not know a football from a supper-time meatball ease herself from an armchair and yell "Come on North Macedonia!" Strange but true - it turned out that her ancestry was Greek, yet the game was all Greek to her.
One of the things that has struck me about the television coverage of the Euros is the proliferation of female presenters, commentators and pundits. Now I have to be careful here because I am unsure if this is a matter of professional judgement by producers or plain PC.
There have been a couple of occasions when there have been two female pundits on a panel, and just one man - and this in a men only tournament.
But I will say this as the high heels continue to come crashing through football's glass ceiling. The girls - and I do not use the term pejoratively - all seem to know their stuff and are happy to be assessed in their knowledge and professionalism alongside their male counterparts.
Of course some are past and present players in the women’s game and it is good to see that some, true, are from ethnic minorities. Here in England those in authority in football should take note. The Government, too, it is all very well the Home Secretary refusing to support those players who opt to take the knee when you consider that there is not a single black figure in the Football Association's senior administration. Not a single black referee in the Premier League, and just a mere handful of black managers in the game overall.
However it is pleasing to note a new sense of social awareness among footballers themselves. Players often get a great deal of stick for juvenile aberrations and the flaunting of wealth. But many of them deserve much praise for the way they have raised their game in every way.
These so far exhilarating Euros are an indication that sport is a valuable exercise in fighting the pandemic alongside the vital vaccines. So organisers of the Tokyo Olympics can take heart. Once the Games are up and running, as I now feel certain they will be, however constricted, you can be certain they will be a positive and welcome contributor to the world's well-being.