The England World Cup Debacle postmortem continues today, though now it's being conducted through the prism of Germany's success.
Saturday's 4-0 destruction of Argentina goes some way to softening the blow of Fabio Capello's side's exit - "At least we scored ..." etc and so forth - but also provides us with a huge stick, emblazoned with the words THIS IS WHAT WE SHOULD BE LIKE, with which to beat ourselves.
Here's Stan Collymore in the Mirror: "If we do not change not only will the Premier League devour itself in our lifetime, the England national team will be dead and buried long before. If we want a vibrant Premier League and national team, the answer is simple. Copy the Germans."
And, rather more eruditely, here's Martin Samuel in the Mail: "It is not just that England play in straight lines; we think in straight lines, too. We do not produce footballers, but right midfielders, left-backs and strikers. And we let our international players off the hook if we put German advancement at this World Cup down to youth alone, and ignore the way the experienced members of Löw's team have taken responsibility and demonstrated their intelligence."
But the postmortems don't begin and end with England. There's some soul-searching to be done in Argentina too. "It was always my fear at this World Cup. Argentina were without Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso and Juan Riquelme in the centre of operations, and there was no Gavin Milito directing missions in central defence," writes Ossie Ardiles in the Telegraph (we think he means Gabriel). "All four would have been great assets against a team as organised as Germany were in this game."
In the same paper, Henry Winter was feeling sorry for a Liverpool midfielder: "The heart went out to poor Javier Mascherano, Argentina's sole defensive midfielder who resembled a fireman fighting a large blaze with a short hose."
Looking ahead, James Lawton of the Independent reckons Andrés Iniesta has finally found his mojo: "The inclination is to await developments after the unexpected smashing of Brazil by Holland and the stunning rise of young Germany, but we cannot do that because, if football breaks the dream of a Maradona one day, it re-invests quickly enough in another. Here, the suspicion is that it may well be a case of saying, Adiós, Diego, and Hola, Andrés."
And in transfer news, Fernando Torres is set for talks with new Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson following the tournament. "It's Torr War" according to the Sun, where "Hodgson is set for Fernando crunch" - we assume that's some sort of Abba-endorsed breakfast cereal. West Ham will flog Matthew Upson to Sunderland for £7m and spend some of the cash on Mexico winger Pablo Barrera and Villa's Steve Sidwell. And Spurs will be snubbed by Diego Forlán.
© Guardian News and Media 2010
Keywords: 2010 FIFA World Cup