Two men wore suits on the England bench yesterday as the team crashed out of the World Cup following a 4-1 defeat by a ruthlessly efficient German team in Bloemfontein.
One was the head coach, Fabio Capello, the other the head cheerleader, David Beckham.
The injured former captain looked every inch a manager yesterday as he harangued Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda at half-time for not allowing Frank Lampard's equaliser.
With his sleeves rolled up, Beckham was playing every ball and sweating every sinew as England, frankly, flopped on the biggest stage.
Capello insisted it was his idea to take Goldenballs' Beckham to the World Cup. His role has never clearly been defined. Rio Ferdinand spoke glowingly about the influence he was having on the squad in the build-up to the tournament but still the suspicion remained that he was only there to help our 2018 World Cup bid.
He has performed that role with aplomb, wooing members of the FIFA executive with his charm and good looks. Whether it has come too late to secure the World Cup following the Lord Triesman fiasco, only time will tell. Regardless, the FA have been impressed by his attitude and his on-going relationship with the rest of the players.
While Capello's future remains in doubt, there are those within the corridors of power who want Beckham to remain involved.
England will fly home tonight in a state of disarray after one of the poorest World Cup campaigns in the nation's long football history.
At no time did they look or play like a team that had confidence in their strategy.
Capello has to take the blame for that and if he is to survive as England coach he must convince the FA of his ability to restore team spirit and conviction to his players and devise a game plan that gets the best out of them.
There was little evidence of team spirit in South Africa and even less of a gameplan that worked. There was little sense of harmony within the squad and John Terry's remarkable media interview hinted at the disaffection among Capello's players.
What England need now, as they try to restore credibility in the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, is a strong personality who will bring the players together and give them a common cause and a fighting spirit.
Beckham, who has no managerial experience whatsoever, would fill that role perfectly — if indeed that is the way he wants his career to go.
The former Manchester United star may not have been the world's most gifted player but during a long and distinguished career he demonstrated a passionate love of playing for England and a willingness to lead and cajole those around. He was totally focused when playing for his country and, as captain, expected the same commitment from others.
It might sound ridiculously premature to promote Beckham's claims to this kind of role but, let's be honest, the FA have tried everything else — and failed. There is little doubt, for instance, that Capello's failure in South Africa will reignite the debate about the current FA policy of employing a foreign national coach.
If the FA decided to part company with Capello, I believe there would be strong support for the re-introduction of an English coach.
They are thin on the ground in the Premier League, of course, but chief among the candidates with managerial pedigrees would be Fulham's Roy Hodgson and Tottenham's Harry Redknapp.
But there is also in-house' support for Beckham and director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking, who had two brief spells as caretaker manager at West Ham. Beckham's lack of management experience, and absence of coaching badges, will weigh against him but there is no reason why he could not work alongside someone with more experience. Argentina's Diego Maradona is able, for instance, to call upon World Cup winner Carlos Bilardo as his No2 in South Africa.
Maradona had no significant managerial experience when Argentina appointed him to lead their World Cup campaign.
Love him or hate him, the fact is that he's a motivator who appears to be driving Argentina towards the later stages of the competition. German Jurgen Klinsmann was another iconic player with no significant coaching experience when he was appointed national team manager and led his country to the semi-finals of the World Cup four years ago.
The FA insisted that Capello, lured by a salary of £6million a year, was the man to break the cycle of World Cup failure that has followed England's solitary success in 1966.
But this campaign have been so flawed that Capello must be asked for a full explanation.
At the very least we expect a spirited challenge from England. What we got was bordering on the pathetic. The prime emotion among Capello's players will be relief at finally being free of the unrealistic burden of expectation. I suspect that with Capello, much is lost in translation and there are cultural hurdles that he has not overcome.
They have tried everything . . . English, foreign, tough and benevolent coaches.
Perhaps, it's time for a re-think — Beckham alongside a good coach might do the trick.
• With 115 caps, no-one in the current set-up has more experience on the pitch.
• He is respected and well-liked by all the players in South Africa and would unite a divided squad.
• Has learned how to deal with the media during career and can express himself articulately.
• Has strong support within the FA and is seen as perfect ambassador for his country.
• Beckham has worked closely with Capello during the campaign and seen how not to do it.
• He has no managerial experience whatsoever and is untested as a tactician.
• Would be unable to make tough decisions when it came to dropping close friends.
• Celebrity lifestyle would stop him from being 100 per cent committed to the cause.
• Beckham's Soccer Academy in London closed last December after only four years.
• Starstruck FA may find it difficult to keep Beckham's ego in check.
Let's spend sometime with the man who wore the same suit during the World Cup...
Just a note, Capello and Becks.. BAMFs you don't want to mess with..
Source: 1, 2