Top of Group Six with three wins from as many games, the scalp of their main rivals tucked into their belt, nine goals in two games and Wayne Rooney looking as though he could be the talisman his country needs him to be; all rise and toast Miracle Man Fabio Capello.
Yes, there have undoubtedly been many, many positives in the Italian’s short tenure in control of the national team. Qualification for South Africa 2010 seems something of a sinecure and the Keystone Kops-like Steve McLaren era is happily confined to history.
Perhaps even more pleasing than the victories over Andorra, Croatia and on Saturday against Kazakhstan, is the change in leadership style Capello has brought.
Gone are the days when the atmosphere around the England squad resembled a sporting version of Tony’s Cronies. The shell-suited, Nokia-reliant peacocks for whom a quarter-final defeat was enough to preserve their status as a protected species have been disabused of their own importance.
Sven’s Men and Mac’s Pack, the under-achievers who were treated like royalty by the men employed – at vast expense – to manage them are now firmly in their place and so they should be.
The team, for that is what they have become, eat together, wear the same business-like suits and are banned from playing pre-match golf.
Capello is as unlikely to countenance a quick hand of three-card brag, fifty-quid and you’re in, as anyone whose name translates as Church. It is all so refreshing.
But – and there must be a but – internal discipline is about the only problem he has solved since he has taken. There remains not just one elephant in the England dressing about which no-one dares to speak, there’s a whole herd, so big it’s no wonder there’s no space for Jimmy Bullard.
The 4-1 success in Croatia was remarkable and while it could be a sign of the changing times, it could also be viewed just as Eriksson’s 5-1 win in Germany was and as McLaren’s 4-0 battering of Greece was always going to be – a welcome flash in a very gloomy pan.
Just as it did then, the Steven Gerrard-Frank Lampard debate continues to rage. This season, Capello has had both men available for two games and he has picked them twice – the appalling draw with the Czech Republic and last weekend’s game at Wembley.
Clearly, Capello has a lot to gain if he can be the man to tease the best out of both players. The early signs are not encouraging however and that is because the midfielders are ostensibly – though not exactly – trying to achieve the same goal, get forward and score.
The rise of Gareth Barry has really put a spanner in the works. England’s best performances come with the Aston Villa captain acting as the team’s heartbeat.
Whether he plays with Lampard or Gerrard does not seem to make much difference, the former was outstanding playing alongside Barry in Zagreb when Gerrard was injured.
But what is clear is that three does not go into two and when those two have to complement each other it means either the Liverpool or Chelsea man has to bet he one who is left out.
I don’t think the nation really cares which one, all most supporters want is for the whole structure of the team not to be sacrificed in pursuit of an answer to an unsolvable problem.
Lampard tends to get most stick but there is no doubt he can be just as influential for his country as he is for his club if matched with the right partner.
His insistence of remaining in a central position – while Gerrard is more selfless in his work around the field – dead-ball expertise and better strike rate potentially give him the edge.
Capello must see that because if he doesn’t, then he’s messing with several careers not just his own.
The temptation to play both men in thew same team is not just based on their respective abilities, though. It also conceals the perennial absence of an authentic left -sided midfielder.
That Joe Cole has come to be seen in that position says more about his attitude and talent than the fact it is the role to which he is most suited, yet his unavailability reveals once more than a dearth of options.
Stuart Downing is nowhere near the standard required to be an international footballer and all the other ‘solutions’ – Shaun Wright-Phillips, Ashley Young or even David Bentley are square pegs for a round hole.
Asking his most talented and important attacking force, Wayne Rooney, to provide width on the left is like using gold bullion to buy potatoes, both a waste and an insult. It’s been tried at Manchester United and it never works, the striker was reduced to a peripheral figure in the most recent experiment at Anfield and looked similarly isolated in the first half on Saturday. Only when he was restored to a central position did England finally begin to tick.
Then there’s the temptation to extend David Beckham’s England career. The former captain now resembling something like a specialist kicker in American football except that once he’s on the field, you can’t get him off again.
Beckham did reasonably well against the tiring Kazakhs but will not be around in 2010, so such soft opportunities should be taken to blood Young or Wright-Phillips in his preferred spot.
There also remains the estrangement many England supporters feel towards their national team. The abuse handed out to Ashley Cole was as much about the fact elite footballers have separated themselves from the real world as it was a chance to boo a man who comes across like something out of a Harry Enfield sketch show. Not enough money, not beautiful enough a wife, life’s so unfair.
And finally Wembley seems to inspire opponents yet brings out the insipid in the hosts. If Capello can find a cure for that, then England would be in with a very decent chance of winning the World Cup in 2018 but until then the elephants continue to bathe in the Water Hole of Plenty.