The post-mortems have commenced quicker than ever before following England’s most humiliating defeat and major tournament exit in history.
Leaving Euro 2016 – and deservedly so – after losing from being in front against Iceland, work is already well underway to determine what went so spectacularly wrong for the Three Lions.
Establishing where the plan – assuming there was one – broke down is essential before being able to move forward, and that requires digesting what was learned from another shameful failure.
Here’s what we learned from the woeful campaign.
Roy Hodgson was doomed to fail
The buck stops with the manager for another tragically inept tournament, and Hodgson has rightly paid the price.
The 68-year-old completely failed to improve anything in four years in charge, with his selections and tactical awareness absolutely non-existent when it mattered most during his tenure.
Hodgson will point to his qualifying records – which are irrelevant when facing teams like San Marino – and blooding youth as positives, but he has consistently failed to bring that form to the big stage or helped youngsters to flourish.
Having had an extremely unimpressive managerial career, never winning a single trophy of any meaning, it was always obvious how this would pan out and it is odd how more didn’t see it.
Hodgson has never had success or ever known how to go about achieving it and his resignation completes a career of failure.
Wayne Rooney is finished at international level
“Euro 2016 will be different”, they said. “This is the one Rooney comes of age”, they said. How wrong they were.
It was another tournament of failure for England’s captain and it’s now time for the Man United striker, not midfielder, to retire from the international scene.
Rooney failed to provide the inspiration or leadership required – having an absolutely shocking game in the most crucial match of all against Iceland – falling over the ball and giving it away constantly throughout.
Being hauled off before the end was a damning indictment of Rooney’s dire displays, and it signalled what should be the end of his England career.
Joe Hart proves he’s no world class goalkeeper
A heavy misconception in English football is that Hart is a top class goalkeeper, but this myth was well and truly put to bed in France.
The Man City stopper endured the tournament from hell, at fault directly for two goals, and somewhat laughably conceding with four of the five shots on target he faced.
Hart has won over England fans for his passion singing the national anthem and honesty when fronting up after another failure, but it’s all useless if he fails to perform and keep the ball out of the net.
The fact he didn’t when it mattered shows he’s nowhere near the top level ‘keeper portrayed.
Gary Cahill–Chris Smalling partnership was inept
Plenty expressed concerns with England’s back-line prior to the competition and fears proved founded, with the central pairing failing to inspire.
Cahill and Smalling proved they are simply not good enough to be the first-choice partnership, failing to defend adequately and crumbling under any kind of pressure throughout the tournament.
It shows the sad state of affairs that is England’s central defence that such a duo were the first choice picks, especially with Everton’s John Stones better than both.
They simply must be cast aside when the time comes for the Three Lions to move forward.
Harry Kane – just another average striker
Kane was England’s big hope after scoring 25 Premier League goals, tipped by pundits and fans alike as the man to fire the Three Lions to glory.
But what a spectacular failure it proved to be for the Tottenham striker, whose limitations were ruthlessly exposed on the toughest stage in what turned into a miserable debut competition.
The 22-year-old lacked the skill, touch and cleverness – and set-piece taking abilities – needed for the top level, and having showed signs of missing such attributes despite his goals for Spurs, it was proven for all to see in France.
His lasting memory from a horror competition will be being vociferously booed by England fans after yet another failed ‘Ronaldo’ free-kick attempt.
Raheem Sterling is not ready for the international stage
There is no other way to put it than by saying that Sterling’s tournament was a complete disaster.
The 21-year-old had a well-documented poor debut campaign at Man City and lacking confidence as a result, he should have been left at home.
He was completely out of his depth, failing to provide any of the pace or spark meant to, and missing a sitter and being hauled off at half-time against Wales summed up a terrible season that will see his value depreciate just as quickly as England’s currency.
With the travelling fans audibly on his back from the first game, it really is bizarre why Hodgson stuck with him.
Gary Neville is no saviour or England manager
It seems almost lunacy to think now, but Neville was genuinely widely touted as Hodgson’s successor having wowed with his analysis from the comfort of the Sky Sports studio.
Those championing such an appointment off the back of talking on tele may want to go into hiding, with the Euro’s proving he is certainly not the answer to England’s managerial vacancy.
Having failed spectacularly at Valencia, and been a part of England’s worst ever tournament showing and result, these crazy shouts for Neville to take charge can stop once and for all.
The former England international, on the face of it, did nothing to influence a shameful campaign, and he needs to be left out of any future involvement, never mind the running for the main job.
*Images not our own