The inquest into England’s dismal failure at the World Cup will no doubt go on for months, perhaps even years.
The truth probably overlaps the myriad of reasons given so far, ranging from player fatigue, lack of talent and even the effects of altitude. England’s World Cup 2010 odds suggested they would go far, but they flopped in the most horrible manner.
The players’ international futures will also come into question. The so-called golden generation will be too old for the next World Cup and many are saying they should be dropped in order to develop a group of new players in time for Brazil 2014.
John Terry and Frank Lampard are among those players. Terry had a poor tournament by his standards. He was strangely caught out of position several times against Germany and appeared not a sharp as he could be in all four of England’s matches.
Lampard was one of few players to emerge from the Germany game with any credit. We all know how unlucky he was with the phantom goal, while he also hit the bar in the second half and gave the sort of all-action performance we are used to seeing him do in a blue shirt.
Yet, over the course of his international career he has failed to hit the heights he consistently does when playing for Chelsea.
Is it now time for both of them to call time on their international careers and concentrate on the Blues?
After all Paul Scholes has extended his club playing career by several years after quitting England and the same went for Alan Shearer, who played for six more years after quitting England in 2000.
For Chelsea, the prospect of having two of their talismans play for longer must be an inviting one and I wouldn’t be surprised if Carlo Ancelotti has brought up the subject with the duo.
The best they can really hope for in an England shirt is a run in the qualifiers and maybe one last shot at the European Championships. The football odds suggest England will be in with a shot of glory, but is it really worth it for the older players to hang on.
After this latest exit you certainly get the impression people are looking to the future and the moment a younger replacement comes along, pretty much regardless of how good they actually are, there will be calls for Lampard and Terry to be dropped.
Why don’t they just do the easy thing and walk before they are pushed?