All right let's look at the positives.
Right, that's that done. It's unthinkable that these players tonked Croatia home and away. I can't remember an England team playing that badly. Seriously I can't. How long before Capello gets a brolly?
Let's look at the excuses:
1. Altitude. It's high up there. We know. That's why you got some practice in up there. It's not as high as some of the crawlers get up the backsides of these creaking millionaires. Not an excuse.
2. The ball. Yeah, well, everyone else seems to be getting a grip on it. It is a bloody ridiculous floaty bubble of a thing but you'd have thought a bit of nous might have conjured up a way of playing with it by now.
3. Algeria played well. They didn't. They were shit. Even the terminally slow centre-backs were never tested. If they'd had a bit more ambition, they could've nicked it.
4. It's been a long season. Truish, but nothing could surpass the length of that 90 minutes.
Here's the actual reason for England's failure to create nothing more than a Lamps in England shirt special of a passback to the keeper. We're not very good. It's simple.
We've got all the creativity of a dried-up felt-tip. Never have I seen such ineptitude from players in possession of the ball. It took each and every player on that park three or four touches to get the ball under control by which time every promising outlet had been blocked by a green shirt.
It was so stodgy. All crumble and no fruit. I reckon we could fire all 23 of them down that burst pipe in the Gulf and it'd be job done and that pasty CEO of BP wouldn't need to go in front of snarling Washington attack dogs looking like a shifty Piers Morgan minus the ugly aura.
At least that pitch won't need any fertiliser for three years after the heap of dung our boys ladelled on to it.
David James played well, but he'd have had more to do if he'd have stayed at home. The back four were never tested but pushed forward like nervous schoolboys peering in to an open tuck shop. Get in there Glen!!!!
The midfield were all sponge-boots and sheer pants. What we need to realise - and I'm surprised Capello hasn't - is that Lampard and Gerrard are not skilful pullers of midfield strings. They - oh God it's too transparent for words - are good a breaking forward into the box, not creating the opportunities themselves.
Barry did his usual nondescript thing. You only notice when he does something cack so he was quite prominent in this game. And Lennon, well he was sitting there watching the wheels go round and round.
'No honestly it is better if you sit with me and take your boots off'
Heskey was okay, but he is Heskey. He is as limited a footballer as I am a teetotaller. Even for the fleeting moments that Defoe received the ball he looked about 300% a better bet. We've done with Emile.
But the biggest disappointment was Rooney. He's still our best hope but my God was he crap last night. The first touch of an elephant seal. I almost wished he'd just clog someone and take a walk. Clearly the knock didn't help him but before then he'd illuminated the game with all the brilliant splendour of a firefly in the Albert Hall.
Can we beat Slovenia? Well, no. They're not world-beaters but they can do some of those things we can't like, I dunno, pass the ball to each other. There's a stupid deluded witless child of a Robbo inside me that tells me that we always start tournaments like this. We struggle, we strive, we are as coherent as a John Presott monologue and yet suddenly when we're up against we click and in adversity, we are reborn.
But I shall not listen. Cos at the moment, I am not angry. No. I am resigned. Let us not care too much for the chavs and scallies that wear our shirts and treat a football like it's an unwanted dog. Let us not grieve for the pucity of their imaginations or the unwarranted enormity of their bank accounts.
Can we ignore these wayward sons? Yes we can.
Can we turn instead to the grit and grind of the Swiss as they've shoves a giant toblerone into the orifices of the swaggering Spaniards? Yes we can.
Can we bliss out on the industry and talent of great swathes of more deserving footballers who can seemingly conjure magic from the malteser they've been asked to play with? I speak of Messi, of Sanchez (Chile), and hell-fucking-fire of Landon Donovan.
Coop is the one on the right
Can we devote our time to jeering as the German manager Dale Cooper throw his bottles of water around and Lukas Podolski fluffs chance after chance, including having a penalty saved by a man who cuts his own hair?
Or rejoicing with out Irish brothers that a French team of utter no-marks are finally hitting the buffers without Henry to play pat-a-cake with theoir opponents hopes?
YES WE CAN!
Because this tournament has started to click. The South Americans are looking tasty, and pretty damn cynical when they need to be. The good ship Argentina are a joy to behold (although I'm not convinced Diego is anything more than an ornate carving on the prow - someone else is doing the donkey work there).
I bloody loved the last Euro Championships and now I realise why. We weren't there. The originators of football were just watching over the heighbours' fence and hoping that one day someone would give them their ball back.
Next time they should just keep it, cos frankly we haven't got a clue what to do with it.
It's a far cry from the glorious qualification, Capello oversaw. He looks clueless and bemused. But when your players simply don't bother to show up, what else can you do?
I don't think he can blame the poor saps who have paid 6 or 7 thousand quid for the privilege of watching an incredibly expensive turd go down the pan. Booing that performance was actually a generous response.
There is a corner of some foreign field that is forever England, and some numpty is taking it and always fucking well hitting the first man.