Steven Gerrard announced his international retirement to a chorus of fans and experts claiming he did the right thing, but why is it left to players to make the call? After captaining England at their most disappointing World Cup, Gerrard has opted to call time on his international career, just as he was expected to do.
Most onlookers would agree that Cole still has something to give both at club and international level, and it would make perfect sense if Mourinho had in fact had an issue with the left-back's attitude more than anything else. Cole was dropped just after he attended Arsenal's Christmas party and reportedly reacted badly to his manager's decision.
England are in a tricky group, and therefore a tricky situation as far as expectation goes. They aren't even favourites to make it out the group, let alone win the thing, so taking a squad of youngsters to experience the atmosphere of a major tournament, without concentrating on progress is one line of thought.
The news that England will not be among the top seeds for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is a blessing in disguise... No more excuses, no more confusion. England are not one of the top seeds because they are not one of the top sides. If humility and diligence reign, Hodgson's men could do themselves proud.