There's nothing like a bit of twisted football logic to round off the week. It came when a Mario Balotelli-inspired Italy scored twice against the Germans, prompting a host of posters on the BBC website to exercise their deductive reasoning.
The words below aptly paraphrase a good 30% of the posts.
"Italy scored two against the Germans, but they couldn't score against England. Therefore England are better than both Italy and Germany."
It was the same in 1967: Scotland beating World Champions England at Wembley and claiming themselves to be the real world champions.
I love this twisted logic, and the sheer fun we can have with it. Newcastle beat Chelsea, and Stevenage beat Newcastle, and Newport County beat Stevenage. Therefore Newport County are better than Chelsea. It's even worse than Thomas Malthus' first essay on population!
But, amid the tortuous reasoning, can be found a very salient point. England did indeed shut Italy out, and did not lose any games during the last tournament. The intriguing conclusion is thus that if England can copy their Italy performance, and shut every side out in the knockout stages, all they need to do is improve their penalties and they will be unbeatable. Now that's pretty scary!
Of course, a succession of England managers have claimed that you "can't practice penalties" because it is impossible to simulate match conditions on a training pitch. But you CAN practice penalties. It will take a quantum leap of popular thinking, but it can very easily be done.
Every England player MUST pressure their club manager to allow them to be the regular penalty taker for the entire league season! There is no better way to prepare yourself for the horror of a penalty shoot-out than stepping up on a bobbly pitch in front of a partisan home crowd and trying to keep your cool amid a cacophony of boos.
If there are two or more England players in the same club side, each one must practice as if they were the regular penalty taker. These guys are paid four times as much per week as the average Briton earns in a year. Surely they have the capability, or at least the obligation, to do one extra task outside their job description!
And before hypercondriacs like Ian Holloway
roar into microphones about how "nobody can tell me which I players I pick for what task," let me restate: the players must make their own case to their manager. They must put their country first, and say: "I'm paid a huge amount every week, therefore you should have 100% confidence in my ability to take on the job of penalty taker, and perfect the art of scoring from 12 yards."
Any England player genuinely worth his salt should be frantically dialing their manager's number this instant. Or searching "R" on their iPhone for "Roberto Di Matteo