With Wayne Rooney's reputation as one of the world's top strikers and talent like Ashley Cole, Aaron Lennon and Gareth Barry around the periphery, England were widely tipped for greatness in South Africa.
Cole told the Sunday Mirror: "Listen, no one pulls the England shirt on with more pride than me, but we've got to face up to the reality of it all - we're just not good enough.
"It's not for me to decide where we go from here, but we have got to change the way we play completely.
"Every team I have played for - from West Ham to Chelsea to England - have always wanted to hit the front men as early as possible.
"You won't get away with that at international level. It's about technique, keeping control of the ball, passing and moving.
"If you keep the ball then you control the game.
"I was brought up that way and I don't know why it wasn't the same for everyone else because that's always been the way forward. Maybe it's time to really look at how we are teaching kids to play."