Roy Hodgson believes Jack Wilshere's lack of match practice was the major reason for his below-par performance in England's goalless draw with Ukraine.
Handed his second start in four days following his 90-minute workout against Moldova on Friday, Wilshere did not enjoy the best of evenings.
The Arsenal man struggled to make an impact on a solid Ukraine defence and his normally forceful passing was completely off radar.
It was no surprise when Wilshere was replaced by Ashley Young midway through the second-half, not that the Manchester United man had much of an impact either.
However, as Hodgson knows only too well, Wilshere did not have the benefit of a full pre-season campaign as Arsene Wenger protected him after two years of problems with ankle and knee injuries.
And that is bound to have had an effect at the Olympic Stadium.
"Jack is still looking for full fitness," said Hodgson.
"That is why we took him off in the second-half.
"We certainly saw a much more effective Jack against Moldova, but he still did his work against Ukraine and, tactically, did all the things I asked of him."
It was not a night for flamboyance that is for sure.