Imagine if this had been the opening game of a World Cup, rather than the first weekend of the 2016 autumn series. A year ago England were hopeful but slightly uncertain of their best way forward.
‘I was born like this, I had no choice/I was born with the gift of a golden voice”, Leonard Cohen assured us on 1988’s Tower of Song, in laconic acknowledgment of his famously flat, funereal baritone.
At a time when much of the chatter around England has centred on the existential, Gauloise-puffing idea of identity, essence and (God help us) “footballing DNA”, it seems fitting Spain should be Tuesday night’s friendly opponents at Wembley.
Ashley Williams accepts Wales may have to win all of their remaining World Cup qualifying matches to finish top of their group after they squandered a lead for the third game in succession to leave their hopes of reaching Russia hanging in the balance.
Gareth Southgate has urged the Football Association to make a swift decision on his future as the England manager so the senior and under-21 teams can start the process of planning for their respective campaigns.
Why Seamus Coleman is not inundated with offers from Europe's richest clubs on a yearly basis is anyone's guess.
Dusan Tadic believes he suffered a broken nose against Wales when Neil Taylor accidentally kicked him in the face but the Southampton winger has not ruled out playing against Liverpool on Saturday and will consider wearing a protective mask to give him every chance of being available.
Romelu Lukaku helped give his former Everton manager Roberto Martínez a night to remember hit Belgium for eight against Estonia in their World Cup qualifier in Brussels.
It is funny how things change.
Facebook has begun allowing businesses to send users adverts on Messenger, but only if those users have previously made contact with the brand.
Sympathy for Keith Pelley was in short supply last week. No sooner had the European Tour’s chief executive praised strong communication with players with regards to safety at the Turkish Airlines Open than one of the group contradicted him.