Roy Hodgson now dares to dream that England are genuine contenders to win Euro 2012, and who can blame him?
Now assured of a place in the last eight of the showpiece summer tournament in Poland and Ukraine, courtesy of a 1-0 win against co-hosts Ukraine, thanks to a header from the recalled Wayne Rooney, and the Three Lions have to be taken seriously.
Perversely, a low-key approach from players and fans alike appears to have worked a trick. No longer is every passing car is bedecked with St George flags and the obligatory jingoistic headlines from most red tops have been eased down.
Yet, Hodgson, who has clearly won over the dressing room, also appears to have a plan, whether fans placing online bets like it or not.
England have not dominated one single opponent - nor are they likely to get supporters out of their seats - but it could be Hodgson has found the key to playing tournament football.
A strong spine complemented by honest and hard-working midfielders, all happy to get their socks dirty, and a headline-maker in Rooney, the focal point to the attack, and the balance appears to be right.
Gone are the days of Sven Goran Eriksson playing Paul Scholes, perhaps the most complete central midfielder of his generation, out on the left wing.
Also, mercifully, for most supporters anyway, is the circus that followed former captain and A-List celebrity, David Beckham.
It was left to Hodgson to sum up the mood in the camp perfectly, and in his own inimitable, modest way, when the 64-year-old suggested that he and the players were happy that they did not have to think about their summer holidays just yet.
He said: "The good thing is that we're there and we're not travelling home. There was not one person in our group who wanted to be on that plane tomorrow."
This is very much a different England, now fifth favourite for the Euro 2012 title in the live soccer betting on Bet365.
Roll on Italy.