But the national team is still short in key areas which makes them nothing better than a live outsider for Euro 2016 in France.
The bookies are already chalking us up as fourth favourites following a far-too-easy qualification campaign.
But the memory of England slinking out at the group stage of last year’s World Cup must surely put off most sane punters at that price.
I’d place Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Holland and Italy above us at the moment when it comes to big tournaments.
England should be ranked along with Croatia and Portugal as dangerous teams who can upset most people on their day – but Portugal are 25/1 while Croatia are 33s.
That’s a Croatia with Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic who would both stroll into our first eleven.
England have decent strikers and raw pace with Raheem Sterling and Theo Walcott.
But we lack that midfield play maker with a touch of class and guile.
Our defence unfortunately is an accident waiting to happen so a lot hinges on Jo Hart.
Hodgson might find the answers in some testing friendlies but I fear another exit as soon as we meet a leading nation in the knock-out stages.
Back on the home front the Premier League is back with another round of hurly-burly action.
And it won’t get any hurlier or burlier this weekend than at the Stadium of Light where Sunderland host Newcastle.
The Black Cats have a new manager in Dick Advocaat who tasted defeat in his first game in charge at West Ham.
Advocaat will be desperate to beat the local rivals but Newcastle have been looking a threat going forward and look the bet in this one at 2/1.
Away from football and the US Masters starts next Thursday.
That’s when Sky Sports and an HD telly really come into their own.
I can watch the Masters for hours on end – it’s great viewing.
But if you want to spice it up with a bet then Rory McIlroy looks a worthy favourite at 6s while Rickie Fowler is a bit over-priced at 40/1 in places for an each-way punt.
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Running Total for all bets this year to a £10 stake: £-110.00