Capello close to World Cup goal
At Wembley Stadium
Fabio Capello's public stance is a stone-faced, unblinking insistence that England's mission to qualify for next summer's World Cup is not yet accomplished.
And yet even Capello's notoriously cold and calculating mind will struggle to come up with a formula that results in England missing the plane to South Africa next summer after the demolition of Andorra.
England would need to develop a strain of incompetence and amateurism on an Andorran scale to fail now after a seventh successive win put them 10 points clear of Croatia in Group Six.
If industrial action on the underground meant England's fans had it tough - and a wonderful turn out of almost 58,000 was testimony to their enduring loyalty and optimism - then Capello's players had it easy.
The suffering of the journey to Wembley and the grim prospect of car park gridlock on the way home almost made an England goal-fest compulsory. Luckily, they were aided by opponents who downed tools as effectively as the RMT.
If anyone ever stops you in the street and utters the hoary old soundbyte about "no easy games in football", feel free to recite the names of the Andorra team who played at Wembley in June 2009.
It was little wonder Jimmy Greaves, paraded on the Wembley pitch after England's squad members who did not play in the World Cup Final win against West Germany in 1966 were belatedly awarded medals, cast a wistful backward glance as he walked off.
Greaves may have been remembering what might have been after he was excluded by Sir Alf Ramsey on the greatest day in English football history - or the old maestro might just have fancied his chances of adding to his tally of 44 goals for his country against Andorra, even at 69.
This game did not provide any kind of measure of England's chances of winning next summer's World Cup as Andorra spent most of the evening loading up ammunition for those who believe they serve no useful purpose at this elite level.
Despite this, Capello's contented mood - he even gave coach Stuart Pearce a playful (make that brave) dig in the ribs in a rare public display of joviality - was well-merited.
He was relaxed as he explained the reasoning behind the removal of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard at the interval: "Thank you very much. Have a good holiday Wayne and the same for Steven."
Capello even demonstrated his knowledge of the workings of industrial action after lavishing praise on the England supporters who showed remarkable stoicism, no doubt helped by a 6-0 win, as they queued long into the night in Wembley's car parks to go home, explaining: "When someone decides to strike he has to create problems for someone."
Indeed, making their way out of Wembley may just have presented the toughest task England's players had all night.
England's qualifying campaign, and their hopes of success in South Africa, cannot be examined in the context of this exhibition of punchbag football.
It can, however, be assessed as a body of work over seven games and, irrespective of the obvious flaws of opponents, a straight seven wins is impressive. It would need a deep dig to dredge up any negative aspect of Capello's first phase of competitive international coaching.
Capello's major success has been the harnessing of Rooney at England level. He has become more composed and mature as an international player, and his raw talent is now reflected in goals - 10 in his last seven games for his country and now level with Sir Geoff Hurst on 24.
The Italian loves Rooney's zest and untamed streak, and knows if he is at his best in South Africa, then England will have a weapon feared by the world.
Gerrard is another who, helped by Capello's tactical shrewdness, is in shape to flourish at a major international tournament. Capello is in the process of finally fashioning a team formation that suits Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
And other pluses are emerging. Glen Johnson has nailed down the right-back spot, showing his creative side against Andorra after a sketchy spell at the start in Kazakhstan. He was instrumental in three goals at Wembley, and with Ashley Cole undergoing a renaissance England have a potentially outstanding full-back pairing, vital at this level.
Capello knows he may have to deal with the imponderables. Previous England World Cup campaigns have been undermined by injuries to key personnel such as Rooney, Gerrard, Michael Owen and David Beckham.
And then there is the big question mark - England's World Cup goalkeeper. David James will not suddenly discover consistency at 38 and the cupboard is bare when it comes to proven international class.
But Capello was in upbeat and optimistic mood as he sent his England charges away for their summer holidays - and with justification.
Capello will keep the lid on the traditional England habit of over-expectation ahead of a World Cup, and the recent lesson against Spain can be used as a check on pre-tournament euphoria.
Both Capello and Rooney recently confessed England cannot play in the flowing, passing style of Spain. This was regarded as grim reality by some and a depressing admission of defeat by others.
Capello, however, gives genuine cause for hope. Watching England at close quarters in these qualifiers, there is a focus and direction that was missing in the latter days of the Sven-Goran Eriksson reign and throughout the entire Steve McClaren era.
He gives off an aura that commands total respect from England's players. There is a different feel around the camp. More of the football and less of the circus. Capello means business and nothing interferes with it.
And while this is no guarantee that England will finally progress beyond the last eight, the round that has claimed them in their last three major tournaments, it is a reason for optimism.
England's players left for a hard-earned break with words of praise ringing in their ears from Capello - and knowing they will be on a World Cup assignment this time next year.