|Roy Hodgson: He's done a great job, but at what price?|
So now that England, after their hard-fought victory against Poland, have qualified for next year's world cup in Brazil, bosses of British supermarkets across our football-loving land will no doubt be rubbing their hands with glee. But what, you ask, has England's success got to do with your local Asda or Tesco supermarket?
Well, the answer is merchandising, and the opportunity, thanks to Roy Hodgson, to bombard a football-crazy public with anything from "I LOVE ENGLAND" mugs to cheap and tacky plastic flags to attach to the top of your battered Ford Sierra.
And don't forget the Decorate Your Bin stickers, which should be plastered liberally over your wheelie bin, and which have the added advantage of being weatherproof. Then there's the flag and horn, which comes free with a packet of razor blades, the "GET BEHIND ROY & THE BOYS" tube of toothpaste, plastic bunting to adorn your lounge with and the limited edition cans of lager.
The choice will be endless, and if husbands have always avoided the weekly trip to the supermarket , come next spring, when the merchandising hits the shelves, grown men throughout the land will eagerly be joining their partners on the Saturday outing to Asda, so that they can salivate over the England supporters' packs.
I must confess that limited edition lager is of interest to me, but the England World Cup patio set - comprising of a crap table, four crap chairs, plastic plates with beakers and a plastic ashtray, all bearing the England flag, and of course all made in China - will not be making an appearance in my garden. And as for the inflatable Wayne Rooney...
So don't forget to get your wheelie bin stickers, while stocks last, sit back in your "I LOVE ENGLAND" armchair, enjoy your can of limited edition lager and GET BEHIND ROY & THE BOYS!