Given that Roy Hodgson only took over the management of the England football team on 1 May, it would be somewhat hypercritical to lay the blame for their Euro 2012 defeat in Kiev on Sunday night solely at his door.
In fact, judging by progress so far, there is much to be said in Mr Hodgson's favour. Notwithstanding their rather lacklustre performance against Italy, England have, on the whole, played decent – albeit not world-beating – football. And they did behave well, both on the pitch or off it (as, indeed, did the fans).
There are, then, positives to take away from 2012, for all the sad predictability of our quarter-final departure from an international championship. The challenge now must be to focus on the technical skills at which England were so demonstrably outclassed. Next time, perhaps, Mr Hodgson. Meanwhile, the nation's attention shifts to Andy Murray.
- More about: