Bad luck scuppers Capello's meticulous preparation
For all the meticulous preparation manager Fabio Capello has put in to England's training camp here in Rustenburg, the injury to Rio Ferdinand goes to show you can't eliminate bad luck.
Capello saw his captain limp out of the tournament a week before it even begins with an injured left knee suffered in a tackle with team-mate Emile Heskey during training.
The loss of Ferdinand, who took over as skipper from John Terry back in February, shows that for all the discipline the Italian has introduced, England's squad remains vulnerable to injury and rotten turns of fortune.
Ferdinand's injury will have ruined a good first full day for Capello and his team in South Africa.
And as Camp Capello threw open its doors to the media for the first time since they arrived on Thursday, there is no question it is a very different atmosphere to Germany four years ago.
The first open session Sven-Goran Eriksson's team held in Baden Baden involved a picture opportunity with local schoolchildren and there was a much more relaxed feel among the players - with many of them laughing and joking as the then assistant coach Steve McClaren put them through their paces.
Ferdinand takes part in training before his knee injury
Not this time. Capello was out early with his coaching staff preparing the training pitch, barking orders in Italian to one of his assistants who had placed a plastic disc in the wrong place.
Such is the attention to detail that on previous trips to the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus, Capello had even taken out a ruler himself to check the length of the grass on the Fifa grade A pitch (good enough to stage World Cup matches) met his 18mm requirements.
As Terry, Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and the rest of the players and staff - including David Beckham decked out in the strict red Capello coaching uniform - made their way to the pitch they looked business-like.
It's the way Capello likes it. No expense has been spared in building the complex here in North West Province. And it's all been prepared to the Italian's specific and meticulous plan.
One member of England's 23-man World Cup squad had revealed recently that in the past players were able to help themselves to bits of kit provided for them by suppliers Umbro - and wear what they like around training camps.
But such is Capello's attention to detail nowadays that they are told exactly what to wear and when.
Lateness is not tolerated and players now show up to meetings and training at least 10 minutes early (yes, they were early on Friday too).
They must even wear the right footwear when told. After the more laid back days of Eriksson and McClaren - when the players were essentially in control - many England supporters believe Capello's hard line style is exactly what the nation's best (and highest paid) stars need.
But the key question is - will it make any difference? Does a world class pitch with 18mm grass help solve the perennial problem of getting Steven Gerrard, who will step in as captain, and Frank Lampard to play together in midfield? Does being on time to dinner and not using your mobile when told give players an advantage when it comes to the dreaded penalty shoot-out?
And as the Ferdinand injury shows, can it bring you better luck?