England is top of its group with two home matches to play as qualification for Brazil 2014 approaches what Sir Alex Ferguson would call "squeaky bum time."

They are the third-highest scorers in the European qualifying section and only two countries have conceded fewer. England is unbeaten and no other side has a better goal difference.

A reason for optimism on the face of it, but for most the glass remains half empty. The English media were more negative than positive after the 0-0 draw in Ukraine, Roy Hodgson angry and puzzled at the criticism of England's display. Gary Lineker called it "awful" (a tweet he later deleted, probably after a call from a high-ranking BBC suit, but when you have almost two million followers it is too late). Such is the power of Planet Twitter and such is Lineker's status that the A-word became back page news.