Will the goals start to flow? The world waits...
2010 World Cup: Johannesburg
It's official - this is the most boring World Cup in history. A sweeping statement, I know, but according to statistics for the first round of group matches, there have been fewer goals scored at this stage of the competition than at any point in the last 80 years.
And it's not as if there are just one or two goals in it. Mexico 1986, the closest to South Africa 2010 in terms of goals scored, managed seven more after the first 16 games.
Now, I know that exciting football is not all about goals. Wednesday produced the sort of shock which makes this such a wonderful event, favourites Spain coming unstuck 1-0 against Switzerland.
Even some of the goalless draws have been compelling, so as ever, it is unwise to pin too much faith on statistics.
But the overwhelming sense here and at home is that this World Cup is yet to match the vibrancy of the South African fans who have created a carnival atmosphere. Even the freezing weather in Johannesburg and the soggy conditions in Cape Town have failed to silence the blare of the vuvuzelas.
So why has the football been so disappointing?
England manager Fabio Capello says it is the worst he has ever seen, while striker Wayne Rooney described it as a "nightmare". The word being used most commonly by goalkeepers and strikers is unpredictable.
Germany's 4-0 defeat of Australia is the highest-scoring match of the tournament so far
Certainly the German players seemed to have a major advantage in having used the ball in the Bundesliga for the last year in producing the most emphatic performance of the tournament so far, their 4-0 thrashing of Australia.
Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, now coaching Ivory Coast, has called for a meeting to discuss the problems with the ball. But world governing body Fifa and ball manufacturers adidas say there is no need as there is nothing wrong with it. Players just need to get used to it.
The counter to that argument, of course, is that an unpredictable ball should make life interesting as it makes it far harder for goalkeepers than attacking players. For whatever reason, that hasn't happened so far.
But it can't just be down to the ball. Experts are suggesting the long European season has taken its toll on the top players while there is no doubt some of the world's supposed minnows have raised their game. The improvement among the Asian teams - witness South Korea's victory over Euro 2004 winners Greece, Japan's victory over Cameroon and North Korea's fighting display against Brazil - is the best example of that.
It is way too early to write this World Cup off and the goal statistics tell only a fraction of the story so far. Besides, many a World Cup has ended with a final to forget. And with illustrious names like Maradona and Jurgen Klinsmann promising goals to come later in the tournament perhaps a slow start is no bad thing.