Football comment: English football must recognise that its problems stretch way beyond their manager or his nationality
Memories in football are short, but surely they must extend at least as far back as four years.
Or perhaps they don't. That was the impression the usually level-headed Andy Gray gave on Sky Sports News on Monday morning.
Among his ideas for England's future were that Roy Hodgson should take Fabio Capello's position and, quite ludicrously for a man with the reputation as Britain's leading football pundit, he added that David Beckham could be his assistant.
Harry Redknapp was also an option, said the Scot, forgetting that the FA wouldn't touch him with a bargepole due to his off-the-pitch problems. Alan Shearer was another name proferred. Shearer's managerial experience? Eight matches at Newcastle United, which reaped five points from a possible 24.
For now, the FA are going to take two weeks out to decide Capello's fate.
But putting to one side the suitability of Gray's candidates - the well-travelled and tactically astute Hodgson would probably be an excellent choice if Capello does go - the obvious insinuation was that the next England manager must be English. That perhaps Capello's lack of Englishness proved costly to the national team at the World Cup in South Africa, where they exited the tournament after being given a comprehensive football lesson from Germany.
The Sun newspaper's editorial yesterday insisted that "surely it is time we had an ENGLISH manager for the ENGLISH team to get us out of this mess." (Their capitalisation, not mine.)
As well as being a woefully simplistic analysis of where England's problems lie, this reaction is almost identical to the clamour which followed Sven-Goran Eriksson's exit after World Cup 2006.
Then, much of the media was adamant that Eriksson, who had quite admirably led England to three consecutive quarter-finals at major tournaments, should be replaced by an Englishman.
The FA eventually relented, giving the job to Steve McLaren, though not before being publicly humiliated by Luiz Felipe Scolari. There is no need to waste any column inches explaining how that appointment turned out.
The fact remains that anyone who watched England crash to Germany on Sunday can see that their problems are many and transcend the nationality of their manager.
We should blame Capello for his mistakes, not for the name of the country on his passport. Blame him for stubbornly refusing to alter England's 4-4-2 formation when it was evident that it wasn't working.
Blame him for sticking Steven Gerrard on the left wing when he would have been better used in the hole behind Wayne Rooney. And blame him for abandoning an ethos that had served him so well - that is, steadfastly choosing players based on form and fitness - two months before the World Cup.
Equally don't blame the Italian for factors which are out of his control. Capello can't help it that Rooney is England's only world-class striker and that this in turn puts enormous pressure on the Liverpudlian. The dearth of talent in positions such as goalkeeper is not his fault either.
Capello may also lament the fact that unlike in Italy, Germany and Spain, England's leagues have no winter break, so his players - think Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Gareth Barry - arrive at these tournaments on their last legs.
But don't expect this to change - the Christmas period, in which games come thick and fast, is highly lucrative for Sky television and Premier League clubs, who will oppose any alteration to the schedule tooth and nail.
Those who profit most from the English game know too well that the desire to do things for the good of the national team quickly fades once the football season restarts and fans' attentions turn back to their club sides.
Finding convenient scapegoats is far easier. Therefore, don't be at all surprised if the subject of the number of overseas players in the Premier League is broached soon.
Indeed, since taking the England job in 2008 Capello has on more than one occasion cited the statistic that only 38 per cent of players in England's top flight are English.
If you think that sounded like someone getting their excuses in early, you're probably right.
But it should not be forgotten that one of English football's golden ages - for club sides at least - came in the 1970s when English teams contested 14 of 30 European finals that decade. Those teams were overwhelming filled with English footballers, as well as with Scots, Welsh and Irish.
Yet despite having so many homegrown players to choose from, England failed to qualify for both the 1974 and 1978 World Cup finals.
Having homegrown players on the books of our club sides does not automatically lead to a successful national team.
It is just one of the many conundrums surrounding the national team, as is the riddle of why English players freeze when in the shirts of their national team when, say, players from Ghana who generally play for more lowly club sides, excel.
As with everything else concerning the England team, there is no obvious answer.