Leading article: To be continued

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The apocalypse has been postponed. England managed to beat Slovenia in their final World Cup group game in South Africa yesterday, thus ensuring that they will progress to the knock-out stages of the competition.

A great cloud of angst was lifted from the southern parts of the British Isles. The inquests have been put on ice. The blame game has been shelved. The interminable argument about 4-4-2 can be given a rest. The national introspection can be put off (at least until England's next match on Sunday when games can be decided with, whisper it, penalties).

In truth, it was not a massively impressive performance from England against a Slovenian team who are ranked 17 places below them in the world. But in comparison with the dross that Fabio Capello's players produced against the USA and Algeria it was like watching the all-conquering Brazil team of 1970.

It goes to show what some good expectations management can accomplish. Indeed, if Mr Capello can make something this mediocre feel like such a relief to so many people, perhaps a place ought to be reserved for him in the coalition Cabinet. Here, after all, is someone who clearly knows how to do more with less.

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