What's in a name, or in this case the proper title for the boss of a national football team? Shakespeare would no doubt trot out his old line about a rose smelling so sweet by any other name - but then thanks, Will, why not pour yourself another flagon of mead and give us some peace while we sort out the latest English coaching controversy? It need not take more than a decade or two.
The question is prompted by a relic of Italian football terminology. It is that not one of the men who led the Azzurri to four World Cup victories and six appearances in the final - and one European Championship win and two finals - was ever referred to as team manager or head coach.
No, they answered, from the immortal, double-World Cup winner of the Thirties, Vittorio Pozzo, to today's Roberto Donadoni, to commissario tecnico. Flitting between the tragicomic possibilities for English football of the game in Israel, which were especially vivid when the Russians hit the post in the last minute, and the Italian ability to withstand the Scottish uprising at Hampden Park, you couldn't help but reflect that even the imposing title technical commissioner doesn't quite define the challenges separating a man handed the Italian job and the stream of broken football men who have tried to walk in the footsteps of Sir Alf Ramsey.
When you look at it from this perspective you see more clearly that for "technical commissioner" you could read guardian of football, protector of certain basic values about how the game should be played.
Played, that is, not administered, because when you trawl back through the history of Italian football you see one constant. It is not integrity across the board. Even the Old Maestro Pozzo was accused, rightly or wrongly, of adapting the aggressive philosophy of Mussolini, and certainly his teams could play with ferocious cynicism - they even wore an intimidating all-black uniform in one World Cup game.
In 1982 in Spain, Italy won from under the shadow of a bribery scandal. Last year in Germany they conquered the world despite the greatest crisis of all, the revelation of widespread corruption at the highest levels of the domestic game - and, of course, last weekend Italy triumphed against a backcloth of rioting and fatal violence at home.
No, the unvarying factor which explains why the history of Italian football on the international stage looms so hugely against that of England's concerns not an undying fidelity to sports morality but sports technique.
Fabio Cannavaro, Paolo Maldini, Gianni Rivera ... you can go all the way back to the inspiration of those first World Cup triumphs, the peerless Giuseppe Meazza, and what you see is the superior uniformity of the product. It is bred on the school fields and in the soul, as it used to be one distant day in England, when great players emerged with their instincts and not the leaden jargon of a coaching bureaucracy.
Donadoni's Italians, unlike Steve McClaren's English, do not have to play a different kind of football when they pull on the shirts of their country. They are bred to it. The technique comes soon after the cradle. It is natural to play in coherent, triangular patterns. Ball control, and thus an easy ability to dominate the pattern of the game, is a starting point.
This, when you consider the lack of true creativity in England's team despite the presence of such talented players as Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen and David Beckham over recent years, is something that sooner or later has to be fed into the debate about who should be head coach of the team. It is not to say that his identity is irrelevant. Far from it, because if you said that you would put down the success of Ramsey in 1966 to mere happenstance. No, it certainly wasn't that. It was the intelligent application of one basic truth: that, generally speaking, …