It’s the beginning of the end, before it’s even started. It was during that brief interval when it was Brazil 1 England 2 on Sunday night that the thought occured, writes Martin Smith.
Prompted by some turncoat-positive observations from commentator Clive Tylsley - who had justifiably been slaughtering Roy Hodgson’s team before half time - it came to me.
The skeleton of the new England team is pushing through the flesh of the fading cadaver of the old.
A young England team built around our two best players Rooney and Wilshire.
A team with Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Walcott, Cleverley and Welbeck supported by older heads Hart, Carrick, Baines, Jagielka with maybe Zaha to join them.
No-one will call this our new golden generation, not after the disappointment of the first lot but there is a team taking shape - golden or otherwise.
The trouble is that as soon as we get an couple of good results - and we will with the pace and variety that those young legs can offer - the hype will start and we’ll be back where we were in 2002 - namely out in the quarter finals if we’re lucky.
But there is hope,which for us means there will be agony when it fades.
Another agony is the end of the football season as explored last week.
And no wonder.
We’ve just had 23 months of unbroken football coverage from June 2011 to Sunday’s international from the Maracana through two full Football seasons and the European Championships last summer.
We’re so hopelessly addicted that even the Ashes will struggle to break the habit and you can bet your life that in a couple of weeks we’ll be listening to Mourinho, Moyes and Pellegrin1 sparring as they take charge of the top three clubs.
Anyone long for the days when cricket was the main attraction at this time of year? The BBC’s brilliant Radio Five programme on cricket commentators brought back memories of Benaud, Arlott, rainy summer days and of course Aggers and Jonners giggling themselves into the history books.
Never mind. There’s a bit of culture coming to Rotherham soon. The New York stadium is to host the British Jack Kerouac conference on July 6 and 7.
The Beat Generation in Rotherham?
Be there or be like, square, man.