We should have known better, really. England and World Cup success do not easily sit alongside each other in the same sentence.

OK, Bobby Moore (1966 and all that) and Jonny Wilkinson (2003) are notable exceptions, but that is a long time between drinks.

Are we about to update the record books with the names of Eoin Morgan and Steph Houghton?

Irishman Morgan is clearly not the panicky type, which is just as well when you look at what lies ahead of the skipper of England’s One-Day cricketers.

Hotly fancied to lift the Cricket World Cup for the first time, England have lost two of their six games in the group stage and from their position as tournament favourites they are not even sure of their place in the semi-finals.

Next up are Australia at Lord’s today, followed by India at Edgbaston and then New Zealand at Durham. They are the three teams above England in the table.

Friday’s 20-run defeat by Sri Lanka was a shock to the system and resulted in coach Trevor Bayliss accusing his batsmen of taking it too easy. Morgan urged his team to go on the attack that lifted them to their world number one ranking.

Keep the faith seems like a good message – especially with the Aussies in their sights.

Over in France, Phil Neville’s Lionesses reached the quarter finals of their World Cup after an incident-packed 3-0 win over Cameroon last Sunday.

Incident-packed … that’s a polite way of saying it was such a tetchy mess that 15 minutes were added, much of it to accommodate VAR time for a disallowed goal to become allowed and an allowed goal to be disallowed.

If being half an inch offside can be such an advantage to determine whether a goal should count then we are in for some long, drawn-out games.

Viewers might be advised to stock up on supplies if they plan to follow the rest of this World Cup.

Meanwhile it’s fingers crossed to add the names of Morgan and Houghton to those of 1966 and 2003.

*There is nothing like a good conspiracy theory to stir things up whether it is about flying saucers, moon landings, dodgy voting systems… or even what will happen if a certain club finishes bottom of Super League.

Leeds Rhinos are becoming strong candidates to finish last, which means that Robert Elstone and his team, probably with a little nudge from Sky TV paymasters, have some head scratching to do.

Will they allow regular crowds of 14,000-plus drift off to the Championship and one of the biggest draws to vanish from the Sky screens for an entire season?

Or will they decide to abandon relegation (it happened last season in the Championship) and increase Super League to 14 teams.

Could they take even more drastic action by finding a reason to deny the Championship winners – probably Toronto – their place at the top table?

For some of us, Super League is a fantasy world created by the money men of Sky TV with their big cash handouts and gimmicky names. For other,s becoming a member of that group is the height of their club’s ambitions.

For conspirators, it is a source to feed their theories.

Eight-times champions Leeds could ease Mr. Elstone’s headaches by doing what is expected of them and avoid last place.

After all, the conspiracy brigade would have nothing to work with if somebody like Huddersfield Giants or Hull Kingston Rovers occupied bottom spot.

*How much is a top manager worth? Five million a year? Ten million?

From the rumour-filled weeks of football’s close season comes a story that soon-to-be departing Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez can land himself a £600,000-a-week contract. That’s £30million plus. The only thing is - he has to leave St. James Park and head to China to collect.

Dalian Yifang, members of the Chinese Super League, at least for the time being, are reported to be knocking on Rafa’s door with an offer that dwarfed whatever Mike Ashley had offered him to stick around. That was a mere £6 million.

Ashley is in the process of selling the club; the new owners – whoever they eventually turn out to be – may be no fans of Benitez and want to bring in another boss, which may be why the Spaniard has chosen to leave the Magpies at the end of the month.

The money-go-round may be able to pay the mortgage but it can’t buy the sort of love the Geordies had for their boss.

Not even for 30 million in China.