Before the 1998 World Cup, “comedians” Baddiel and Skinner predicted England’s fans would end their 32 years of hurt and “dance Nobby’s dance” in celebration.
Instead, they ended up hanging effigies of David Beckham.
Eight years and another failed campaign later, and Beckham is captain, “hurt” has turned 40 and people just want to nibble Nobby’s Nuts.
Yet the curse of blind optimism still pervades English football as Saatchi & Saatchi showed last week with an ad featuring a spoof newspaper report of England’s final triumph over Brazil.
The Diary applauds this kind of positive thinking, but wonders whether Liverpool striker Peter Crouch really will come off the bench to turn the final on its head.
Maybe the Saatchi Reds were simply cosying up to Nitro UK partner Bruce Crouch, father of Peter.