As I write this England are labouring to win their latest football match, this time against the lowly – very lowly in footballing terms – San Marino. Terrygate, Hodgsongate (tube tales), Colegate (Ashley’s tweets – not the toothpaste): has there ever been a better time for Poland to put one over on England? When Hodgson was appointed I was quick to criticise – not because Hodgson’s a bad fella: quite the reverse – but because for a nation whose footballers will need half a generation to get anywhere near the touch of the competition, I felt we needed a charismatic, experimental leader in the interim. Nearly ate my words at Poland-Ukraine 2012, but in the end I think we can say England reverted to type there, and got as far as they deserved. How about Poland? They’ve done pretty well in World Cup qualifying so far, drawing away to group leaders Montenegro, and beating group whipping boys (one of…) Moldova. And of course they have the undoubtedly talented Lewandowski. But their captain and arguably best player is out, and they have a very new manager. Plus in the end they’re ranked 56 in the world to England’s 3 (don’t ask me why 3) – so by rights England should win well. I doubt they will, and even if they don’t, I suspect England and Hodgson will get away with it. England will surely top the group tonight, and it’s such a weak one that they’d do really well not to qualify (STOP PRESS: one of England’s only rivals, Ukraine, have just drawn against Moldova!). England may get a hatful in the second half of this match against San Marino as the latter’s fitness levels fade, qualify from the group, and expectation for Brazil 2014 will rise inexorably. And guess what will happen next!? With my usual divided loyalties, I wish good luck to both sides for Tuesday night.