If Roy Hodgson was under any illusions as to what a shitty little mess he's been put in charge of, the last few days' developments have put things in very whiffy perspective.
First of all, let's get one thing clear. That snippy little Belgian Mertens can scurry back to his bonce-busting beer and overrated chocolate and never darken aWembley penalty area again. Tweeting apologies are just so much Blegian waffle. That was the pettiest piece of skulduggery I've seen on a football field since... well since Rooney did that crappity thing against Montenegro, the plank.
Gary Cahill will watch Euro 2012 at home. The curious thing is Rio Ferdinand (81 caps, highly regarded, popular in the England camp) will be doing the same. Unless they both want to pop down the Blue Bell and have a jar with us lot. (First pint's on you.) His place has been taken by Martin Kelly. That's right. Martin Kelly. Me either.
Now, Roy Hodgson's attempt to explain away Rio's absence as being for 'football reasons' stands up about as convincingly as Didier Drogba. At best you might argue that Rio's fitness is a little dodgy, and that won't be helped by travelling hundreds and hundreds of miles on a frigging plane cos of the FA's witless decision to house the squad in another dimension of time and space.
Incidentally his PA suggesting that Rio has been 'disrespected' doesn't help. The manager gets to make his choice and no one has the right to be selected. (Apart from, apparently, John Terry.)
Ferdinand had clearly not ruled himself out; Roy had. But now Ferdinand is the next best available centre-half in the country. Fact. So why?
Now even the most guileless yokel, who has spent his whole life bailing hay and molesting livestock, might be able to pinpoint where the problem lies. And it lies with John Terry.
1. How the fuck did Chelsea get away with postponing a court case that every other foul-mouthed muppet in this great kow-towing Monarchist moshpit of ours would have had done and dusted within a month? Ridiculous. Indeed, most employees would be suspended on full pay until the facts had been discussed in a magistrate's court.
2. How on earth is it that Terry gets selected when his very presence is divisive? It's got to cause friction. Unless you are blue-shirted, brown-nosed disposition, you'd have to agree that it's the equivalent of sticking you knob into a can of coke and squatting on a wasp's nest for the afternoon. If the case had been heard - and Terry cleared - then fair enough. But Chelsea made sure there's an itch to scratch.
3. Terry hasn't exactly been the bedrock of the Chelsea defence this season. Admittedly he's spent a lot of time trying to house-train David Luiz as he hares around the park like a sugar-rushed Shitzu. But Terry hasn't been much better, and his lack of pace is actually so startling that at times you had to look really hard at the replay to reassure yourself that he wasn't actually running backwards.
So if - if - it has been a case of a straight choice between Terry and Rio, then I figure that Hodgson made the wrong choice. Politically, practically and based on performance it would've been a toss of the coin.
Now there's a danger here that Rio gets to walk around with a glistening halo over his head, but we must remember that that's not a halo, it's another chunk of crass footballer's bling. I recall the missed drugs test, the demand for higher wages when he returned after 8 months, the notorious Man United Christmas Party (WAG-free but tottytastic). He's not bleeding Gandhi.
And maybe if Micah Richards hadn't trotted off like some dull-arse product of the Sylvia Young Theatre School (or his agent did on his behalf) he'd have been going and we'd have been hard pressed to criticize Hodgson.
Instead we have a situation where Hodgson's judgement is brought into question and, in the case of huffy Micah, we have a manager who sends his assistant Stuart Pearce off to deliver the bad news, something Capello got rightly slated for.
Now I want to get behind Roy. He's got a crap job. The squad has rumbled off to Poland like a horse-drawn cart packed with willing farmhands. Trouble is the road is so bumpy that not a day goes past without hearing how one poor numpty after another has fallen off the cart and done a groin.
And to be fair he's inherited a bunch of ageing underachievers that have, time after time, left us barstool bores dashing off to A&E after another pint-pot has shattered in our angry fists.
After this latest farrago, one thing is for certain. It is time to get shot of 'em. There is hope if the likes of Wilshere, Rodwell and Cleverly continue to impress when they're not keeping the sports physiotherapy industry in work. There's Hart, Jones, Welbeck, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walker, Smalling... these lads are good and don't treat a football like a spheroid alien that needs relaunching back into the orbit from which it came.
So maybe, just maybe, this ill-judged and ugly affair will force a drawing of the line in the sand and we can get on with watching young, honest and not too restrained footballers actually enjoying a bit of a kickabout without getting too big for their hopefully well-used boots.
Before then, though, cover your eyes, whistle a happy tune and don't fall for this 'low expectation' shite that means we've got 'a better chance'. It just means we'll be less disappointed. And I'm happy with that.
And in any case, who wants to see John Terry jumping with joy on July 9th? I don't. I honestly don't.