Perhaps the key fact about England's dreadful capitulation to Germany today was the : Podolski and Klose can't score for their clubs, but are deadly for Germany. The exact reverse is the case for England's "golden generation" who came nowhere close - not even remotely close - to capturing their premiership form in this tournament. (Well, that's not quite true: Gerrard matched his dreadful premiership form this year, with his standard retinue of ludicrously ambitous possession-losing passes, no-hope shots from distance and positional indiscipline. As @Liverpool_FC noted on twitter, "Let's not mince words - Gerrard's been as poor for ENG as he has been for LFC this season. Real shame to see.") I know some commenters have argued here that the failure of England's top players to reproduce their premiership form is because they are hiding behind better-quality foreign imports at club level, but this doesn't stand up to much scrutiny. Rooney and Lampard are at the heart of the United and Chelsea sides; they aren't peripheral fellow-travellers. Terry, I think, is the one England player whose weaknesses at club level are hidden by superior players around him. He's manifestly too slow, both physically and in his thinking, to be a top quality defender.
I can't remember an England defeat like this - its comprehensive manner removed all tension, depriving England supporters of even the accustomed rush of jouissance that comes from losing heroically. (There was nothing heroic today, and Lampard's disallowed goal is an irrelevance - no team that defended as amateurishly as England did today could expect to progress in the World Cup finals.) In fact, the three first-half goals - and the sense that there were more to goals to come, with Germany's defence scarcely any more watertight than England's - dissipated much of the tension early in the game. And the third and fourth goals killed off all remaining tension long before the final whistle. By then, it was a question of embarrassment, not tension.
I've stuck with Capello throughout but his decisions today were frankly bizarre. The problem was clearly the massive gaps in- and in front of - England's defence, but Don Fabio did nothing to rectify this. Then the mystifying substitutions. Cole was poor when he came on against Slovenia, while Milner still looked like his crosses could pose some threat. If there was ever a time to send on Heskey, it wasn't when England needed three goals to get back in the game. Shaun Wright-Phillips? Words fail me. You have to wonder what Crouch has done to offend the Don (score goals, perhaps: apart from Defoe, he's the only England striker to have hit the back of the net for some time). Perhaps even Capello was subject to the same negative alchemy that afflicted his players. Congratulations to Germany, for sure, but it's still not clear how good they are. What's certain is that they will not come up against a defence that inept again - not only in this World Cup finals, but in international football.