As Fabio Capello boards his flight back to the relative comfort of Italy, he must be wondering where everything went wrong? He leaves with the highest win percentage of any England manager, senior players have been tweeting their best wishes and the next generation of England football team have all thanked him for giving them a chance.
How has it ended like this, with Martin Samuel leading a relentless barrage of criticism from the football world against a man who arrived on theses shores with an almost unimpeachable record of success?
The problem for Fabio Capello was that nothing less than an open-top bus parade with John Terry showing off the World Cup was going to win over a country that struggles with the concept that someone born outside of our borders could bring success to an icon of the country.
In footballing terms, England are years behind their rivals. There is little structure aimed at producing a world beating team, the clubs are too powerful and the team has long been focused on a few totems of the footballing world - from Terry, to Beckham to Shearer, the side has long struggled to fulfil the idea of football as a team game.
As a reflection of our national society, it is arguable that we have what we deserve. The national game has struggled to modernise and take on modern techniques. A sense of entitlement outweighs actual ability and a loathing to listen to dissenting voices hinders development.
Capello often had to deal with complaints that his English wasn't up to scratch. This wasn't a problem when he led the team through a fantastic set of results as the team qualified for the World Cup in South Africa. It obviously hasn't been a problem as he plotted a route to this summer's European Championship.
But it was never good enough to placate a media obsessed with finding fault with him. The 2010 World Cup was a miserable affair, but was it because the manager couldn't deliver Churchillian speeches to his players at half-time? No, we just weren't very good.
Capello may not be the most likeable person in football. He was never too interested in raising his personal profile and winning over the public by becoming a celebrity. His job was to manage the national football team, and the only way he would want to be famous would be for his side winning tournaments.
Capello didn't realise that this isn't enough for England's football fans. He was already viewed with disdain by large swathes of the fan base for having the temerity to be born in Italy, and he had to show that he was embracing English culture with open arms. He wasn't interested in appearing in the jungle with Ant & Dec, he didn't want to do fawning interviews with Fearne Cotton outside a movie premiere and he wasn't fussed about filling the pages of the Metro with pictures of him dining out with the Beckhams of this world.
Poor Fabio, he was fighting a losing battle. He started as an Italian and he left as an Italian. He never had a chance as long as he insisted on staying that way. It didn't matter if his appointment was a coup for the FA, or is he was the most qualified national team boss for a generation. He won trophies in Italy and Spain, and won the Champions League with AC Milan. What does that matter when you can't plough through a press conference without having to double check the meaning of a journalist's question?
Capello will happily spend the millions he earned in his four years in England in the cafes of Milan, Rome or Turin. He doesn't need the validation of the Daily Mail, the Guardian or the Sun to think of his career as successful.
England's national team, however, will continue to plod along struggling to get to grips with the modern game. Much to the country's relief, they'll be led by someone who can wisecrack their way through press conferences and will happily entertain a reporter camped on their doorstep.
If the national team is a reflection of their society, then it is fitting that England have rejected a thoughtful, successful and hardworking man and are looking to replace him with someone whose main attribute is that they speak English.
It is worth noting that the lead candidate for the role, Harry Redknapp, recently told a court - admittedly in perfect English - that he could barely write his player's names on to the team sheet.
Follow Alex R. Bath on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BathAlex