The critics are examining the wreckage following England's disappointing 2-1 friendly loss to France at Wembley on Wednesday.
An opening period that resulted in Les Bleus controlling proceedings from start to finish led to Laurent Blanc's men holding the advantage thanks to Karim Benzema's near-post strike.
Mathieu Valbuena doubled the visitors' lead when he coolly guided home Bacary Sagna's right-wing delivery and, although Peter Crouch volleyed home late in the day, France were well worthy of their triumph.
But the fingers of blame are already wagging with head coach Fabio Capello bearing the brunt of the unwanted sceptics.
The Italian was hardly aided prior to the fixture with a number of first-choice stars ruled out through injury.
Joe Hart, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, John Terry, Michael Dawson, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe and Darren Bent were just a few regulars unavailable for the Three Lions.
As soon as Capello released the midweek team sheet a number of eyebrows were raised around the national stadium.
Andy Carroll was handed a debut after notching seven goals at the start of the Premier League season, but playing upfront on his own was always going to prove a difficult task for the Newcastle United front man.
Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson, a relative unknown prior to August, struggled to stem the flowing movement through the centre of the park with the likes of Valbuena, Samir Nasri, Florent Malouda and Yoann Gourcuff dictating play.
The youngster also went into the book for a crude challenge on the latter, further dampening what should have been a dream night.
Kieran Gibbs at left-back looked shaky as did captain Rio Ferdinand. Steven Gerrard failed to grab the game by the scruff of the neck as he so often does, while wingers James Milner and Theo Walcott failed to offer telling contributions.
Goalkeeper Ben Foster looked flummoxed at times and anchorman Gareth Barry will do well to win a place in the starting 11 when the Euro 2012 qualifiers recommence in March following his sub-standard display.
Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott were simply plugging the voids in defence and it showed as they struggled to adapt to the live-wire French.
On a brighter note, substitutes Crouch and Adam Johnson impressed, but they should really have been on the hallowed turf from the start.
Capello may have picked up a few valuable lessons from the setback, but the performance hardly sat well with the majority of the 85,495 Wembley crowd.
But, onwards and upwards some may say. Capello will have his eye on the upcoming qualifier against Wales in the spring and he will take heart knowing he was without at least seven recognised first-choice members.