Through all the fanfare of Ricky Lambert's dream debut against Scotland last night, there was a darker tone underlying the game at New Wembley.
England scraping past their local rivals in a match that, on paper, should be a fairly simple matter was not easy to watch.
Despite the 3-2 win, the game did nothing but show that England are continuing their decline in to the shadows of international mediocrity.
Joe Hart added to the unease by allowing James Morrison's shot to go in despite getting a firm hand to it.
The central defensive partnership sitting in front of the flappy hands of Hart - Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka - look a shadow of England's retired heroes John Terry and Rio Ferdinand.
The worrying thing is, this is our lot. The amount of options to replace these faltering stars is dwindling fast, making the impossible job even harder for Roy Hodgson.
Any fans that have noticed that England are far from safe in their World Cup qualification group will only be more worried this morning.
But in all the gloom, there lies a slight ray of hope.
Jack Wilshere took only 45 minutes to show why he is being tipped as England's next star, talisman and captain.
The 21-year-old has spent much of the last two years battling serious injury and, as a result, has only played eight games for his country.
But despite spending so much time out of the game, his technical ability has not dwindled at all.
Whilst other England players were brought down to the level of their inferior opponents, Wilshere stood up and looked a class apart.
He made time for himself, dictated the pace of the game and unsettled the Scottish defence with clever movement around the box.
This England squad is clearly struggling with the loss of key players and is likely to struggle further when Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard decide to call it a day.
There are few players who look capable of carrying the baton for the next decade but Wilshere looks like he will be key to any success England may experience in this time.
England have fallen decades behind European counterparts with regards to developing young talent. Emphasis on long passing, crossing and shooting from distance has left the country with an abundance of technically inept players.
But Arsene Wenger has defied tradition at Arsenal to present us with our very own Spanish-esque playmaker - one that can drive this mediocre squad to the World Cup.
Just stay fit, Jack.