The commercialisation of football has led to those that previously worked behind the scenes stepping into the limelight. Can we push them back into the shadows, please..?
Best ever? Worst ever? Should we copy Germany? Or is it still Spain? The World Cup finished a day ago and it already feels like it's been analysed beyond measure...
Recriminations are where we truly excel when it comes to international football. For decades every World Cup exit has been followed by hand-wringing and 'if only...' pleas. The press goes into a spasm of flatulant idiocy and, in essence, says 'everything we didn't do was everything we should have done and everything we did do was what we shouldn't have done'.
But the truth is there are simply no scapegoats left. They have all been used up.
These are the facts:
* We have failed with English managers, we have failed with overseas managers. It's not the manager.
* We have failed in hot climates, we have failed in cold climates, we have failed in equitable climates. It's not the climate.
* We have failed in Europe, Africa, the Far East and South America. It's not the continent.
* We have failed by isolating the players beforehand, we have failed by not isolating them. It's not where they stay.
* We have failed after not preparing everything in minute detail, we have failed by preparing in minute detail. It's not the preparation.
* We have failed playing Wayne Rooney out of position and in position, in the team, out of the team. It's not Wayne.
* We have failed when the Premier League/First Division hardly had any overseas players, we have failed when it is stuffed with overseas players. It's not about nationality.
* We have failed playing 4-4-2, 4-5-1 and 4-3-3 and other variations thereof. It's not the formations.
* We have failed trying to pass the ball, we have failed playing long balls. It's not the length of our balls.
* We have failed with great team spirit, we have failed with poor team spirit. It's not the team spirit.
* We have failed playing a lot of youngsters, we have failed playing a lot of oldsters. It's not their age.
* We have failed trying to have a balance of young and experienced players. It's not the balance.
* We have failed when the side has been placed under great expectations, we have failed when there's been no expectations. It's not the level of expectation.
But something must be done!! Who can we blame? It seems as though blame must always be dished out. Surely there must be a big lever currently set on 'lose' which if only the idiots in charge could pull into 'win' mode.
No there isn't. All the shouty solutions offered by the press and media over the years have all been wrong. All the phone-in callers who seem to think that more 'passion' (aka running around a lot more) is the solution are braindead fools. For those who think if only we'd picked Ashley Cole, John Terry or anyone else, remember, we failed with them as well.
In coming weeks there will be calls for winter breaks, for less football to be played and for us to copy the systems of whichever team wins the World Cup and becomes briefly fashionable. Don't get fooled by any of it.
You can pick it apart for as long as you want. We can have another root and branch review. We can blame anyone we feel inclined to blame, but beware of false prophets who think they know the answer. You don't have the answer. No-one has the answer. There is no answer. England rightly makes nihilists of us all.
John Nicholson - he's on Twitter