There's so much doom and gloom around Old Trafford that we came up with this list just to cheer up David Moyes. Sometimes coming after a great can go rather well...
Think AVB 'cracked' on Sunday? Read these tales of punching fans, 52 swear words, 15 uses of the c-word, 'The S**t Hits The Fan' and "youse are all f**king idiots"...
10. Kieron Dyer
Whilst an exciting debut against a country such as Luxembourg should be treated with the pinchiest of salty pinches, there was no doubt that the recent Newcastle signing captivated during a 6-0 win in 1999. After being recruited as a midfielder from Ipswich for £6million, Dyer was utilised out of position as a right-back by Kevin Keegan.
Dyer marauded down the right-hand side at will during an opening period in which he set up a goal for Alan Shearer, hinting that this may be a versatile option that England were desperately craving, combining pace with sharp passing and skillful creativity...
...and then it turned out Dyer had been injured in making his assist, and was replaced at half-time. The epitome of an entire career in just 45 minutes.
9. Micah Richards
Despite his current funk, in November 2006 Richards was considered a formidable replacement for the ageing Gary Neville on England's right side. Picked for the friendly against Netherlands in Amsterdam, the then-18-year-old became his country's youngest ever defender, and impressed throughout as a Wayne Rooney opener was cancelled out by Rafael Van der Vaart late on.
Richards was widely praised for his adventure in getting forward, but the words from Brazilian legend Carlos Alberto were perhaps slightly ambitious: "To become the best in his position in the world would only fulfil the promise I saw in him. Talent and ability like that is rare and I've seen football across the world."
Someone seems to have been taking prediction tips from Pele.
8. Shaun Wright-Phillips
Ahh, the sweet smell of genuine potential, long before it sours to the rotten stench of wasted talent, ill-advised transfers and rent-a-quote fathers.
After impressing for Manchester City in 2003/4, Wright-Phillips was provided with an opportunity as a substitute against Ukraine in a game at St James' Park during which Dyer was booed by his own fans. The winger completed an exciting performance with a stunning finish fired past Aleksander Shovkovsky with 20 minutes remaining.
"Incredible pace, good technique. It was absolutely perfect," said Sven, and it never got better. The most underwhelming 36-game international career had enjoyed its brightest flicker of joy. A warning for England's current cause celebre Andros Townsend to heed.
7. Alan Shearer
Coming a mere four months before a group game against the same opponents at Euro 92 was a friendly against France in which Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker appeared as a strike partnership - a dreamy distant memory for England fans.
Just before half-time, the young Southampton striker turned in a Nigel Clough corner rather impressively, also leading the line with effective conviction. Lineker added a second after coming on for David Hirst at half-time, and Shearer had done enough to justify a place at the Euros.
"I will not be disappointed with that," Shearer presumably mused to himself.
6. Tony Adams
The 4-2 victory over Spain in 1987 is perhaps more famous for Gary Lineker's four goals in the Santiago Bernabeu (he was a Barcelona player at the time), but Arsenal defender Adams, who was just 20 at the time, also made his mark in a central defensive partnership with Terry Butcher. Adams was the first player born after the 1966 World Cup to be picked for England, stat fans will be delighted to hear.
So much did Adams impress Bobby Robson that he then featured against Turkey in a competitive fixture two months later, before being named as part of the Euro 88 squad. In doing so, Adams initiated the quiz question statistic of becoming the only England player to have played at tournaments in three different decades.
5. Darius Vassell
Think of an England strikeforce as underwhelming as you possibly can. Then double it, add seven and cast your mind back to England's friendly in Amsterdam in 2002. Heskey - Vassell - Ricketts. I think we'd all erased that particular nugget from our minds.
In fairness to Vassell, he never disgraced himself in an England shirt, with his finest moment coming just an hour into a 22-match career. A cross from Beckham was directed to the front post, where the striker got himself slightly ahead of the ball. Correcting his stance, the Aston Villa forward fired in an acrobatic overhead kick past Edwin Van Der Sar. That's a sentence that very much merits repetition.
4. Dennis Wise
Although Wise was a fine servant for Chelsea at domestic level, his presence in an England shirt always seemed to demonstrate a paucity of ambition. That said, the diminutive midfielder justified continued selection after a mightily imposing debut away to Turkey in 1991.
After consecutive draws against Republic of Ireland in their Euro 92 qualifying campaign England needed a strong performance in the Ataturk Stadium, and a goal from debutant Wise in a commanding midfield performance put England on top of the group.
3. Steve Bull
Bull was still a striker in the third tier when called up by Bobby Robson for the Rous Cup match against Scotland at Hampden Park in 1989 - having scored 37 league goals the striker had more than earned his opportunity.
With eight minutes to go a long ball reached Bull, who managed to almost accidentally control it with the back of his neck before firing past Jim Leighton. Bull must surely be the only England player of the last 100 years to have played more times for his country than in the top flight?
2. Kieran Richardson
Richardson had already begun a tale of the ridiculously improbable after guiding West Brom to Premier League survival of 2004/5, and just a fortnight later he was making his international bow. A selection widely mocked before kick-off then followed a Mighty Ducks/Space Jam style script when the winger (now a nondescript full back) scored after four minutes of a friendly against USA, adding a free-kick second of which D-Beck would have been proud.
"I would not say that this has secured his World Cup ticket but he is one of those pressing their claims," said Sven after the game. Richardson never started another game for England.
1. Rickie Lambert
Oh, the working-class hero! Oh, the fawning guffery! Oh, the beetroot!
When Lambert took to the field just minutes after clocking off at the beetroot factory following a 72-hour shift, there was serious danger that Wembley may witness the first recorded death through patronising, but it soon turned out that a striker with 46 goals in his last 86 games could play a bit. Who knew?
Just seconds after his introduction during a friendly against Scotland, Lambert scored with his first touch in international football, bagging the winning goal in the process. "I've dreamt for it to go like that for a long time," Lambert told the press after the game. And we all felt a damn sight warmer inside. And outside.
Daniel Storey - follow him on Twitter
Oh my, I just looked up that Geoff Thomas shot @ogp...when you see the acres of space he had to chip the ball into & what actually happened...oh my.- JoeyBoswell