England win wasn't pretty ... but neither were the Greeks
The weight of expectation will not add much to England's baggage when they fly to Poland for Euro 2012. It is a load so light that it may not even register on the scales.
And it seems manager Roy Hodgson and his players are happy to keep it that way while many observers weighing up two 1-0 wins over Norway and Belgium against their realistic ambitions over the next month content themselves with attaching the label of "the new Greece" to England.
Not damning with faint praise - simply recalling how unfancied Greece responded to the fierce tactical discipline and defensive organisation of veteran German coach Otto Rehhagel by winning Euro 2004 against odds stacked a mile high.
No-one can seriously put England forward as potential winners on the evidence of two friendly wins but Hodgson and his captain Steven Gerrard have both name-checked the Greeks as "Exhibit A" to state their case for how surprises can be sprung.
Roy Hodgson and Gary Neville on the Wembley sidelines. Photo: Getty
And as Hodgson puts his tactical theories into practice, it is clear England's approach in Poland and Ukraine will lean heavily on the resilience and tactical structure that may not make them easy on the eye but could make them fiendishly difficult to break down.
England conceded possession to Belgium for long spells within Saturday's Wembley friendly, settled by Danny Welbeck's delicate 36th-minute finish, and yet emerged with a second successive victory for Hodgson that was built on similar foundations to the first.
They barely troubled Belgium keeper Simon Mignolet and came away with the result that will enable them to take the journey to Euro 2012 with guarded optimism.
Of course the policy has its risks. Norway and Belgium have both failed to profit from England's willingness to let them have the ball, either by accident or design. They may find a greater threat to their aspirations should they do the same against superior opposition with a greater idea of what to do when they get in front of goal.
Brutal honesty dictates that much of England's performance was less than sparkling and there were times when they were too careless in possession. But with a manager barely into the job before trying to make an impact at a major tournament, Hodgson's imposition of such a rigid tactical structure is understandable.
It was not a night without its irritations. Gary Cahill underwent a scan on his jaw thanks to a nasty, needless shove by Dries Mertens that sent him clattering into the not inconsiderable frame of England goalkeeper Joe Hart. It will be of no consolation to the Chelsea defender should he miss Euro 2012, but this was the sort of cynical foul that could easily have resulted in serious injury to Hart, which would have been the ultimate calamity for Hodgson.
John Terry sustained a hamstring injury that also required a scan - but there were positives to consider too as Hodgson crystallises his thoughts ahead of meeting France in Donetsk on 11 June.
In what was effectively a rush job as he replaced Fabio Capello so late in proceedings, his first task was to impose his tactical will on England. And one of the opening moves for any new manager is usually to ensure his team is difficult to beat.
Early days of course and the true proving ground will be Euro 2012 but England do look as if they might be a tough nut to crack. Greater tests lie ahead but Hodgson appears to have got his message across to his players in the sort of "hands on" training drills witnessed during the open sessions he has conducted so far.
It was also interesting to see Hodgson's new coach Gary Neville emerging as a more visible presence in the technical area at Wembley - and rightly so. No need for him to feel he has to get his feet under the table having proved he is in possession of such sound opinions and knowledge of what is required at this level.
Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard will patrol central midfield, while Hodgson may yet have a decision to make on the flanks. Arsenal's gifted teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got his first England start against Belgium and, while he showed quality in flashes, his realistic starting point is surely as an impact substitute.
Liverpool's Andy Carroll looked to have moved into pole position to partner Ashley Young in attack against France after his late resurgence and a performance of industry and promise in Norway - but Welbeck may just have muddied the waters in the nicest possible way for Hodgson.
Welbeck's goal was a moment of real finesse and its creation was not without significance. He demonstrated a smooth link with Manchester United team-mate Young, whose clever pass allowed him to loft over Mignolet in the game's decisive moment.
He also showed intelligent running and awareness, particularly in setting up a first-half chance for Oxlade-Chamberlain. Welbeck has given Hodgson some thinking to do.
Hodgson's early days will fall firmly into the "more solid than spectacular category" but he has enough to be pleased about.