On the face of it England have an indulgent World Cup qualifying draw and at least, by the time the games are due, the fallible Fabio Capello will be gone.
Next week sees Holland come to Wembley in what you might call a premature pre-season friendly. No Jack Wilshere or Steven Gerrard for England. Hard to see who might be making any bullets there might be to fire for Ashley Young, brought on absurdly late by Capello in the shaky show against Switzerland, or feeding the lively Downing on the wing. Presuming both get on the field early on.
Capello, however, is right to express concern over the future of an all too rare young English talent, in the gifted playmaker, 18-year-old Jose McEachran of Chelsea. What a dismal sign of our sometimes bloated times that Capello must hope McEachran goes out on loan, to play regularly, rather than stay at Stamford Bridge where money, as at Manchester City, the other club which has surely poisoned the wells of English football, can simply keep on buying.
But could it be that Arsenal have, wonder of wonders, a homegrown English player likely to break through? Having waited for barren years between the emergence of Ashley Cole and that of Wilshere himself for a home nurtured English player. One saw two pretty dismal displays by the Gunners in that half baked Emirates Cup last weekend, but when Wilshere, in the ill starred match against the New York Red Bulls, featuring the former Highbury icon Thierry Henry, came off the field after seven minutes, on came the 18-year-old Benik Afobe to make a coolly effective, intelligent and lively appearance on either wing.
We must hope that, like McEachran he is given a decent chance, to prove himself. In an Arsenal team still so shaky in central defence where once, as inventors of the third back game, they were so traditionally secure. Oh for a Leslie Compton, a Frank McLintock or a Tony Adams!
Meanwhile, Montenegro lurk in waiting for England, both in the European Championship and the ensuing World Cup qualifiers. Politely, their manager says he hopes to come second in the group. But after the 0-0 draw at Wembley, who knows?