There will be ‘a real carnival atmosphere’ in South Africa this June; you can guarantee commentators and pundits will describe it thus. And yet for England matches something threatens this perennial World Cup cliché. No, not those infernal horns that so blighted our enjoyment of the African Cup of Nations in January. Booing.
With Messrs Terry and Cole already set to attract abuse from large sections of the travelling support, Jamie Carragher has become the latest player to incur the wrath of the country’s faithful. His surprise inclusion in Fabio Capello’s provisional 30-man squad has proved unpopular in some quarters. Many do not think he is good enough to represent his country, while others believe he should not even be given the opportunity having turned his back on the Three Lions in 2007.