After England complete a clean sweep by losing their last World Cup 2014 match to the mighty Costa Rica at 11/4 odds, thoughts back home will turn to what boss Roy Hodgson could have done differently, and how he might remedy the sorry situation.
The 67-year-old was bold enough to bring through the likes of Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Luke Shaw ahead of the summer debacle, but his team’s performances – particularly at the back – make a further injection of fresh blood this autumn almost inevitable.
We’ve taken a look at the players who will be pushing hard to feature for the Three Lions in their upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers.
The back five
How 28-year-old David Stockdale has managed to an avoid an England cap thus far is a mystery, especially seeing as the Fulham man has made 39 Premier League appearances to Jack Butland’s three for Stoke, although it is conceded that the goalkeeper spot is not a cause of great concern for Hodgson.
At least three of the four positions directly in front of the number one certainly are in need of fresh consideration, so centre-halves Eric Dier, of Sporting Lisbon, and Manchester United’s Michael Keane – who spent last year on loan at Championship winners Leicester – should expect calls shortly.
Right-back Calum Chambers is the first of many Southampton youngsters who warrants a look, considering England’s absolute dearth of options in the position, but Liverpool’s Australian-born left-back Brad Smith – who clocked up Premier League minutes for the Reds last term – will find his route blocked for a while longer by Luke Shaw.
A feature of England’s woeful World Cup has been Hodgson’s inability to find the right balance in the centre of the park, with Liverpool duo Steven Gerrard – who really shouldn’t be any country’s first-choice anchorman – and Jordan Henderson proving predictably inadequate.
Hodgson needs defensive-midfielders now, and combining Charlton’s Diego Poyet and Chelsea’s Nathaniel Chalobah – who has racked up 68 Championship appearances on loan at Watford, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough – will be essential if England are to make progress.
Saints playmaker Harrison Reid has been described as ‘the new Paul Scholes’ by some, but Derby’s perpetual rumour fodder Will Hughes is likely to make the senior side before the Worthing native.
Relegated Norwich winger Nathan Redmond could catapult himself into the England reckoning with a summer move back to the Premier League, but Aston Villa fans have high hopes for 19-year-old Callum Robinson, who is expected to feature prominently under Paul Lambert next season.
James Ward-Prowse is another off the St Mary’s conveyor belt who enjoyed a fine 2013/14 campaign, so he gets his chance.
Two goals in one appearance for Man Utd makes James Wilson pretty much the most prolific striker in world football, and if he’s good enough for Ryan Giggs’ last match at Old Trafford, that should do for Hodgson.