There's nothing better than the anticipation one feels on the morning of a big international fixture. The excitement starts to build over breakfast, and will reach fever pitch shortly before kick off, as the players come out for the national anthem. Never fails to bring a tear to my eye as I watch our brave boys puff their chests out and try to remember the words.
This evening England take on the mighty Poland for the sixteenth time. They have something of a reputation as being our nemesis in World Cup qualification campaigns - thanks to Tomaszewski 'The Clown' in 1973 - but in fact they have only managed to beat England on one occasion. Both sides have of course already qualified for the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany, but I'm sure the game won't be sterile and toothless.
There's professional pride at stake, after all. International fixtures like these hold a special place in the hearts of the players. They can forget about their humdrum day job in the Premiership and play their hardest to impress the manager and for a chance to strut their stuff on the biggest stage of all in the Summer. Expect lung-busting box-to-box running, full-blooded tackling and heart-on-sleeve committment. Expect despairing dives, goal-line clearances and spectacular goals. The Manager will expect nothing less. The nation expects nothing less. This is our national side.
But just in case you disagree. On BBC2 there's "How to Rescue a House" followed by "Rick Stein's French Odyssey". ITV has "Coronation Street" and "The Bill" followed by Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in "The Runaway Bride". On Channel 4 it's "How Clean is Your House", "You Are What You Eat" and "Supernanny" and on 5 we have "Rattlesnake!" followed by Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in "Ghost".
Or you can just read a book. Or go to the dentist. Or watch paint dry....