There's no two ways about it, the World Cup is really exciting. This is my 13th tournament. I saw England win the first, so it's all been downhill since then domestically. Over the years I've learned the key to happiness is to not take England's performances seriously. It's just football. It's just a bit of fun, not a war.
But with all these years has come a realisation that the only really annoying thing about a World Cup is England fans. For a happy tournament, avoid exposure to as many of them as possible - especially these kind...
* Those in pubs who rhetorically shout, "How come Defoe's not playing?"
* Those who call into a phone-in should be banned from calling a phone-in on that very basis. One recent contribution: "Barkley is a good little player who runs around."
* Those who thought having an English manager would make a big difference.
* Those who bring club tribalism into their criticism of players and, conversely, fans who see tribalism in criticism of players when none exists.
* Those who, after England win one group game, suddenly think England can actually win the trophy.
* Those who used to slag off Sven for under-achievement, but who now think a quarter-final exit would be quite good.
* Those who think Terry Butcher/Paul Ince's head wound was England's finest hour.
* Those who think John Terry not being in the squad is political correctness gone mad. See also: glorification of head wounds.
* Those who, after an early defeat say, "Bring them home, they're a disgrace to the country."
* Those who think England losing is part of a greater decline of a once-great nation and symbolic of general moral collapse. See also: radio phone-ins.
* Those who say it is the foreigners in the English game that are to blame for England being rubbish.
* Those who talk as if England used to be successful. See also: blaming foreigners, head wounds, John Terry, radio phone-ins.
* Those who complain at the high price of 'official' England shirts.
* Those who get drunk and furious and shout abuse at the TV in front of small children.
* Those who adorn themselves, the car, the house in bunting and flags. A bed sheet with a red cross painted on it hanging out your window doesn't mean you care more.
* Those full kit w*nkers in supermarkets buying ten boxes of lager before an England game. Are also likely to have the bedsheet hanging out of the window.
* Those who only take interest in football every four years and still think David Beckham is playing for England.
* Those who think not singing the national anthem means the players don't care.
* Those who think 'they only play for England for the money'.
* Those who can't tell the difference between hindsight and forethought. Spotting what went wrong after it went wrong is not the same as having the vision to see it beforehand.
* Those who think that drinking Red Bull and vodka while watching football in a pub genuinely makes them more perceptive than the manager.
* Those who think the war only just ended.
* Those who still want 'Arry.
* Those 1% who, whatever the question, answer 'Frank Lampard'.
* Those who say England aren't playing with enough passion, who when pressed what passion means, say, "Y'know...running around and that." See also: all of the above.
Johnny now writes superb northern crime novels. We love them. Check them out here: www.johnnicholsonwriter.com
Balls to you!! I love walking round the supermarket in my England top, I'm English, I'm proud and if that makes me a beer swilling knob then so be it....however totally agree about the going nuts in front of small kids...that's just not cricket.- rodger's gusset