The close season is meant to be a break from the nerve-shredding stress of having to follow a football team but, thanks to the World Cup and England’s schizophrenic campaign, there is no respite from the nailbiting.

During my time of supporting the Bees, it seems that, with the odd exception, victories always seem to come this way – scoring goals by the hatful and making games safe is just not Brentford’s style.

I hate to harp on about it (No you don’t – Ed) but, as pleasing as the 4-0 home crushing of Gillingham was – and it was bloody pleasing to give Nosferatu (that’s former Gills manager Mark Stimson to latecomers) and his team of clod-hoppers a pasting – holding out to claim a more customary 1-0 win over the Kentish upstarts on Boxing Day was ultimately more satisfying.

And it appears the England team might be taking a leaf out of the Bees’ book.

As I watched the national side hold out for their vital win over Slovenia on Wednesday afternoon, I was overcome by that terrible but comfortably familiar feeling of tension.

England did their best to keep us all on edge, but we held on for the victory and that is all that counts – for now, at any rate.

When we play the Germans on Sunday afternoon, we will more than likely be put through the ringer again.

Our Teutonic pals are a decent side with some exploitable chinks, but we have plenty of weaknesses of our own so, from here on in, I fear any England victories will be slender ones.

You may be wondering how I was able to watch the Slovenia game, considering the fact that much of the area was struck down by a powercut during the must-win match.

I hear that poor old Dec (or possibly Ant) missed Jermaine Defoe’s goal because of the blackout, and it is certainly a grave injustice that a mere mortal such as I was able to rejoice in it when Dec (or Ant) had to be informed of the score via a text message.

The reason transmission was unaffected for me is that, like a British soldier posted in Cyprus, I am seconded miles away from the action, as my office is in the badlands of North Cheam.

The electricity flow was thankfully uninterrupted out here, and this means that, for one day only, I can write the least used phrase in the English language: I was delighted to be working in Cheam.