If Munich 2001 promised much for England's golden generation then Bloemfontein brought it to a final, juddering halt. "The (disallowed) goal could've changed the game," said John Terry, "I can't explain why we didn't start as well as we would've liked". His defensive partner thought "the ball took a bizarre sail in the air" before Miroslav Klose outmuscled him to score the first goal. From where I was sitting it looked more like a simple case of bad defending. There was a lot of that about.
At the final whistle, the Germans in the room were ecstatic, the Ukrainians slightly confused ("Aren't England always strong?") and the English magnanimous in defeat. "The better team won," we said, "but Argentina will be a much more difficult game." German TV focused on Rooney's reactions to each of the goals. He threw his hands in the air, pointed to where the defenders should have been and gave the impression of a man who knew he had lost from the start. Gerrard, Terry and Lampard stood motionless, hands on their hips, going gentle into that good night. South Africa was no country for old men. England need to rip things up and start again - but with who?