I rushed home from the Mayor’s Garden to run some errands and grab supplies before settling down to watch what I had expected to be a glorious England victory over the USA.
With so much talk about the special relationship, and the recent Britain versus USA discussions emanating from the BP Oil Spill disaster, I was hopeful of a resounding victory and things got off to a fantastic start with Gerrard’s superb goal in the 4th minute.
However, that was the point at which we seemed to peak – allowing the USA to come back with a tame equaliser that was only scored as the result of a shocking goalkeeping howler from Rob Green.
I will never quite understand what happened; he simply seemed to let the ball slip through this hands into the goal. Even the Americans seemed embarrassed to celebrate.
The look on his face said it all – a combination of dejection, shock, anguish and shame.
It could well become a career-defining moment, and the important thing is that it happened now, rather than in a more critical day.
I suspect that the experience of David James is suddenly looking very attractive and Capello will not sleep easily tonight wondering whether or not he made the right selections for this opening game.
That said, we mustn’t underestimate the USA; they are ranked 14th in the world (compared to England’s position at 8th) and have a number of Premiership players in their side.
However, the Press will turn on Capello quickly, and he will have a restless night thinking about what has happened and what could have happened.
For me, there are several questions for him to answer:
1. Was Green the right choice for goal?
2. Is Ledley King really ready to be playing at this level considering his injury record and lack of match fitness?
3. Was it sensible to leave Walcott at home when pace and ingenuity are of critical importance in a tournament like this?
It’s early days, but, like many England supporters, I’m feeling subdued and nervous.
The only positives were an incredibly solid performance by Heskey, who was a commanding presence on the pitch and brilliant play from Johnson who is may Man of the Match.