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Everyone keeps telling me how beautiful it is to watch World Cup finalists Spain but I just can't agree. As pretty as their slick, passing football is I can't help but be absolutely terrified by it.
On Wednesday they were like one of those giant Boa Constrictors, slowly squeezing the life out of a hitherto vibrant Germany in the first half before devouring them with a wonderful, daring second half effort.
I must admit, I've been irked by the hero worship of the Spanish at this tournament. I never had a problem with a team who are quite clearly the international side of their generation, but did we really need to rush to canonise them after beating Honduras, a dreadful Portugal and an obdurate Paraguay?
OK I'll say it. It's time to identify the elephant in the room of this World Cup house party.
This has been a vibrant, colourful and historic World Cup but no amount of enthusiasm from the South African hosts can mask the fact that the football thus far has been pretty damned mediocre.
Not terrible, because there has been enough intrigue in the opening rounds to provide a few truly memorable moments. But let's be honest, there have no individual or team performances that have approached the World Cup gold standard set by the likes of Pele, Maradona and Zidane through the years.
I got an email the other day, probably the same one that has pinged into your inbox over the last 24 hours. Highly libellous, it was, but salacious enough to pique my interest - not least because it claimed to have the inside track on why England's World Cup bid failed.
The gist of it was a re-heated rumour given an England twist and for about five seconds I could feel the fury building inside me. He did what? With who? And that's the reason why it's going to be 48 years of hurt by the time we rock up in Rio...
Then I thought about it, got my emotions back in check and realised that the original rumour was a load of malicious nonsense with no foundation. I don't know where it originated from, but whoever started the poisonous chain mail is probably sitting back in his bedroom somewhere feeling pretty pleased with himself.
It had been coming. June 27, 2010 was at least four years in the making for the 'Golden Generation'.
England have been due a good hiding at the hands of one of football's progressive superpowers for a while now. That they have been able to dodge a bullet for so long is solely down to the fact that international football so rarely brings them into direct competition with one of the six or seven sides capable of exposing our glaring deficiencies.
OK, there are friendly matches against the big guns from time to time but they are notorious for creating a false impression. It is at tournaments where we really get a sense of our place in the international hierarchy and yesterday's denouement was every bit as depressing as I'd feared.
Do you remember the Graham Taylor documentary 'The Impossible Job'? The then England boss, in a move borne of either extreme naivety or rock solid confidence that we'd qualify, agreed to allow cameras to follow him during the 1994 qualification process with fascinating results.
Well, here's a glimpse into what would happen if Fabio Capello agreed to the same thing..
A Spanish TV channel employed a lip reader to make sense of Capello's volcanic touchline eruptions - and discovered that even Stuart Pearce is submissive round the England boss. A fascinating (and hilarious) insight into what makes the Italian tick - and is there a little hint of humour from Don Fabio in there too...?
The 'big five' is a term used by game hunters to describe the most difficult animals in Africa to hunt by foot, but it could just as easily refer to England's treacherous route to the World Cup final in Soccer City.
OK, we only have to slay three big beasts to make it to Johannesburg but still - daunting isn't the word.
A vibrant, fearless Germany on Sunday before a potential meeting with free-wheeling tournament favourites Argentina next week. And then, just when optimism about possibly matching the achievements of 1966 would be legitimate, Brazil emerge as potential semi-final opponents. That would be the same Brazil that England have never defeated in a World Cup finals.
Given all the soul searching that has followed England's insipid stalemate with Algeria on Friday, it seems flabbergasting that no-one has pointed out the one area where vast improvement is required to avoid the unthinkable this afternoon: set pieces.
Forget the thus far unsuccessful search for the real Wayne Rooney or the infernal debate over balance in the midfield - if England don't start to deliver more of a threat in dead ball situations they're finished.
Being able to deliver a free-kick or a corner with power and pin-point accuracy has been the thing that has set England apart in recent years. It has contributed roughly a third of all of our goals in major tournaments recently - two out of the six we scored in Germany, three out of six in 2002 and three out of seven in 1998.
I committed sacrilege yesterday.
Criticising this great collection of Spanish players, it would seem, is tantamount to treason in a World Cup year.
Well, when I say criticised I should probably put it in context. I was as mesmerised as the next person by Spain's balletic style as they pulverised a very weak Honduras side but I got decidedly irked by the hyperbole being lavished at their feet by ITV commentator Peter Drury.
The football has improved after a soporific start but even so, this World Cup is now destined to be remembered for what happened off the pitch rather than on it.
We've had sporadic instances of player power before (Roy Keane's exit in 2002, for example), but nothing like the tensions that have undermined the French and English World Cup campaigns.
On an explosive Sunday afternoon, the villainous French class of 2010 joined Harald Schumacher, Rivaldo and Frank Rijkaard in the World Cup hall of shame while certain members of England's 'Golden Generation' once again laid their breathtaking arrogance bare for all to see.
England's failure in Cape Town was so complete that it is virtually impossible to pin-point one distinct reason for it. Here, there and everywhere there was cause for concern as England combined with an equally ponderous Algeria to deliver quite possibly the worst 90 minutes of any World Cup in living memory.
But it seems clear to me that, in trying to accommodate one player of supreme ability, England are engaging in a folly of monumental proportions. I speak, unfortunately, of Frank Lampard.
Lampard has been an England regular for six years and in that time has delivered only a handful of performances that could truly be regarded as international standard.