There is one thing that has defined the English football team since around 1998, something that has been repeated for every tournament and is happening again right now, and that is the media building the team up just to tear them down viciously when they fail to win a tournament they were never going to win.
Wayne Rooney has been lauded as England's record goalscorer, and while it's a fantastic achievement, you can be absolutely sure that he will be the first one the finger is pointed at when England are eliminated from Euro 2016. England have won every qualifier so far, so the squad are being built up as contenders, but in reality their group is shockingly weak and will serve no purpose other than to inflate expectations before a tournament where they will meet teams that are far better prepared to go far.
Fergie knows this, and he has pinpointed it as one of the main reasons why he rejected the job as England manager when he discussed the pressure of the position in an interview with the BBC:
It’s an impossible job, the pressure on the England manager is huge. Every competition, for some reason the press make them favourites, or one of the favourites, and to my mind they have never been favourites.
The fans also get lit up by the press observations. The huge army of fans they take to the World Cup or the European Championships is fantastic but brings pressure.
It happens every time. Look at the 2010 World Cup and the reaction back in England to a group stage elimination, which seemed to completely ignore the fact that they were relying on Emile Heskey to do a job for the team.
An England team with Alex Ferguson in charge may have fared differently, because he wouldn't have stood for the abuse that the England manager traditionally receives in the press for one, but it was never going to happen.