As brave, new post-apocalyptic tournament dismissal worlds, the one in which England overcame a limited Norway 1-0 is hardly a verdant Eden Project of green shoots.
After all, the Three Lions smashed renowned goal misers Greece 4-0 in the first outing since Portugal had revoked their World Cup hall passes back in 2006, now THAT was a false dawn.
Now Roy Hodgson’s troops must gird their loins for a return to the competitive fray against a classy Switzerland side in their first qualifier for Euro 2016 in France.
Having done so little to dispel the impression, in the wake of their group stage exit in Brazil, that England are second class international citizens these days, it’s time to acknowledge the writing on the wall.
Switzerland are their superiors, and here are the headlines…
The Rossocrociati are 8/5 favourites for victory when England visit Basel
In some ways the fact that the Swiss are such narrow favourites from their 7/4 guests can be seen as surprising given the Three Lions’ recent travails.
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They outperformed Hodgson’s men in the World Cup
Switzerland may have been given the run-around by France in Brazil, but unlike England they graduated from their group before being KO’d in extra time by eventual finalists Argentina.
In their mini league they hit seven goals in winning two of their three outings, a far superior yield to Wayne Rooney and friends’ return of two goals and one point.
The Army Knives sit 11 rungs higher up the FIFA World Rankings
England are lower on the ladder than they’ve been since early 1996, when their position was artificially depressed as a result of not having to qualify for European Championships on home soil.