Poor old Zoltan Gera. He made a big decision this summer to leave a newly promoted side for one that escaped relegation by the finest of possible margins. Since then, very little has gone right. He’s been deployed out of position on the left of a midfield, missed countless sitters, worked his way back into the team on the right and then limped off injured after a disappointing half hour against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Roy Hodgson confirmed that Gera would miss the Christmas fixtures at his press conference today. It sounds like it may well be a calf strain rather than a tear, which might have been more serious, but it will leave him on the sidelines for a fortnight or so. Without being too unkind this might make Roy’s selection for Friday a little easier. With Bobby Zamora getting fitter every day after a full week of training (as opposed to the single day he had last week), he could come into the line-up for Gera and prompt a switch to 4-4-2.