In the week leading up to his 13th England cap, Jack Wilshere pleaded for realism. At just 21, having been often heralded as a piece of Barcelona playing in north London with Arsenal, such was the early optimism over his ability; Wilshere says expectations have spiralled out of control.
However, after a woeful display at the point of England's midfield in defeat to a clever Chile side at Wembley there is no danger of Wilshere suffering from being placed on a pedestal anytime in the near future.
Playing in behind Wayne Rooney and handed attacking license, Wilshere was lacklustre in possession - a previous pre-requisite of his professional career to date - and so indisciplined with his positioning that a significant gap in his football education was seemingly exposed.
While Wilshere's raw talent is still undeniable, his role for Roy Hodgson's England, a concern first raised when he was left out from the start in both of the crucial qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland, is undefined and with Steven Gerrard and Michael Carrick to return from injury, his World Cup place could even be said to be in some considerable doubt.
The concerns surrounding Wilshere centre around the fundamentals of his technique and knowledge, formerly reliable during his early football career but on Friday night and sporadically in his international tenure, lacking proper execution.
Against Brazil in February, where England produce as impressive as display under Hodgson during his 18-months in charge, Wilshere was outstanding, linking with Wayne Rooney throughout and getting in behind the South American's midfield with probing movement.
But not a crumb of that performance against the World Cup hosts was evident against Chile. His telepathy with Rooney, a willing runner all evening but another who failed spectacularly in practise, was non-existent and his responsibility to give England shape and discipline in midfield was totally absent.
The plateau in Wilshere's form comes at a time where the home-grown England player is being scrutinised like never before. The Arsenal man is meant to be the shining example and the standard-bearer of a system which The Football Association hopes to promote across Greg Dyke's tenure in charge. They might choose to edit out this performance.
At times, Chile played like England and Wilshere only wished they could. Cherishing the ball, calmness in tight situations and considered under pressure. The only positive from the evening is that Wilshere saw a blueprint he wants to replicate. He issue remains whether he can reach that level. Ever.