Aston Villa's Thomas Sorensen has pleaded with disgruntled England fans not to blame David James for Wednesday's Danish disaster.
The Manchester City goalkeeper was beaten four times after half-time as England capitulated to the heaviest defeat of Sven-G^ran Eriksson's time in charge and their worst loss in 25 years.
James appeared to be clearly at fault for the hosts' opener, charging out of his box to make an ill-advised challenge on Jon Dahl Tomasson which eventually only provided Dennis Rommedahl an empty goal to fire into.
As a fellow member of the close-knit goalkeeping fraternity, Sorensen has endured plenty of troubles himself during his time in the Premiership with Sunderland and Villa.
But the Danish stopper, who made the save of the match when he clawed out an instinctive Jermain Defoe effort when the contest was still goalless, believes any sustained attack on the man who used to be known as ' Calamity' would be totally unjust.
"I have sympathy for David James," said the 29-year-old.
"He was definitely not to blame for what happened. He couldn't do much with any of the goals and there are others who have to take responsibility.
"As a goalkeeper, you know some days things will not go your way and I thought he was unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But he has done tremendously well in the Premiership and I don't think any differently of him for that defeat."
Eriksson gave little away about his inner thoughts yesterday. "I have always said that David James was very professional after the Austria game, working very hard and trying to come back," he stressed, referring to the time James lost his first-team place after a costly blunder in Vienna.
"But after what happened in this game, I don't want to talk about David James or whoever. The second half was a collective disaster.
"When you are missing details like attitude, tactics, aggression, not running with the ball or keeping the shape, it became a complete disaster. I will not try to defend anything because almost everything was wrong in the second half.
"If you are talking about the best XI and if you change three or four, maybe the strength goes down a little bit but not like this, that's impossible."
It is, indeed, perilous to read too much into friendlies, certainly ones at the start of a season, with England almost certain to play much better against Wales in Cardiff on September 3.
"I hope the Welsh look at the tape only of the second half. Then their confidence will go up," observed Eriksson with rather a strange sense of logic.
What he meant was that if Wales expect such a shambolic England side to run out in the Millennium Stadium, they could get a shock. It is to be hoped he is right, for England cannot afford to lose ground to group rivals Poland.
The real questions remain, however, if England do still qualify for the World Cup finals. Facing Wales is not a time for experimentation but the friendlies in November and March would be. West Bromwich Albion's Chris Kirkland is certainly an option in goal, while Scott Parker or Michael Carrick could be tried out as a holding midfielder.
"I know Chris Kirkland started the season very well but he has to show that he's fit for a while before we take him into the squad," added Eriksson. "His problem in the past couple of years has been injuries. It's very important to have fit players when you go to a World Cup. I hope he stays fit, as then we will look at him."