Form slump: Matt Prior. Photo: Getty Images
Sir Alex Ferguson built three Manchester United teams. He did not respect reputations or past performances and he was only interested in winning.
The more I watch Kevin the more he gives me the impression he has had enough and is tired of the pressure of Test match cricket
He knew he would be judged on the team's success. He got rid of great players like Ruud van Nistelrooy, Roy Keane, Jaap Stam and David Beckham. When he felt the team would be better off without those players he had no hesitation in cutting them free.
Kevin Pietersen. Photo: Getty Images
Does Andy Flower see the problems in his England side and have the balls to make big changes? Or will he want out? Remember he has given up the running of the 50-over and Twenty20 sides to have more time off.
If you are going to build another team to challenge the world it requires mental strength and strong desire from the coach.
For me the rot started in New Zealand this year - the first Test in Dunedin and the third Test in Auckland. Each time in the first innings we played awful shots, dug ourselves a big hole but escaped with draws. A good side should have beaten New Zealand easily.
Australia's David Warner celebrates his century during the third day of the Third Test. Photo: Reuters
Then in Nottingham against Australia if Stuart Broad had been given out as he should have been, we could have lost that Test. We should have lost in Manchester but it rained on the last day, and although we came out on top eventually in Durham in the fourth Test, for many periods of that match it was even stevens.
This crisis has been coming. The signs have been there. This Ashes trip we arrived with three tall fast bowlers who, we were told, would get bounce and pace off the hard Australian pitches. But anybody who has seen them bowl in the nets says you cannot pick any of them because they are not bowling well enough.
If England cannot pick any of these three on the bounciest pitch in Australia then they might as well go home. What the hell are they going to do for the rest of the trip?
Chris Tremlett is a yard down on his pace of three years ago. We should have bowled him in the fifth Test at the Oval to see what he was like. We would have found out then that he is a defensive bowler with two slips and everybody spread out.
Boyd Rankin bowled well in the one-dayers and the selectors were swayed by his performances bowling 10 overs, but now they dare not risk picking him in a Test match.
The best fast bowling prospect we have had for years is Steven Finn. He has a gift for getting wickets. That is what bowlers are supposed to do. Yet now we are so concerned about him catching the wicket with his back leg that he has lost confidence. He is probably focusing on where his back leg is instead of getting bloody batsmen out.
Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance played for the Performance squad in Perth before this Test. Why didn't all three giant fast bowlers play in it? Working in the nets is good but it is no substitute for match play.
We have only two wicket-taking bowlers: Jimmy Anderson and Broad. Our third seamers are stock bowlers. In Brisbane we played Tremlett to do a holding job, Ben Stokes in Adelaide, a promising talent but not a third seamer and, in Perth, Tim Bresnan, who had not played for three months. All three gave their best but they are not wicket-taking bowlers.
On top of that Graeme Swann has always been 25-30 per cent of our attack. With 250 Test wickets he has been a match-winner when it spins and turns. He has taken lots of wickets against left-handers with his slider and DRS.
Australia have targeted him and taken him out of the equation. On flat pitches in Australia with no spin they have gone after him.
If he cannot take wickets he has to hold an end up and control the scoring rate while the quicks bowl at the other end. Australia have not allowed him to do that. They rotate the strike or hit him out of the attack. On flat pitches with only two wicket-taking bowlers we are stuffed.
Then the batting. Jonathan Trott has been a heavy-scoring batsman for England but it is doubtful we will see him again because I do not think the selectors dare pick him if he has to leave the team in the future. There would be huge criticism if that happened.
Kevin Pietersen is a headache. One of the best players in the world, a wonderful match-winning talent. Australia have targeted him brilliantly. All they do is bowl tight lines outside off stump, tie him down and wait for him to get himself out.
He rises to the bait every time. His ego gets the better of him. He does not want anyone to dominate him. His strength is his Achilles' heel. He cannot or will not show the patience and concentration that is needed.
The more I watch Kevin the more he gives me the impression he has had enough and is tired of the pressure of Test match cricket. His knee has been dickey for some time, he has plenty of money and maybe he needs to stay fit enough for the Indian Premier League. Make lots of lolly in India for a few overs of slogging. It is money for old rope.
Getting out time and again, like he has done in this Ashes series, is not doing himself any good, England any good or helping morale in the dressing room.
Matt Prior is a problem. How long do you wait for his batting form to return? In the modern game wicketkeepers must make runs. While we are waiting for him to get runs, England are losing and losing badly. Now you wonder if his lack of runs is harming his keeping as yesterday Prior missed a stumping, a catch and four byes slipped through his legs.
Before this series started if you had been given the two sides on a sheet of paper you would have said that there was nothing to choose between them.
Australia are not that good a side. They have just played to their best with more intensity, energy, good tactics and executed them brilliantly while we have been pathetic. I did not see it coming but the more I see of England's cricket, the more I realise it is going to be a 5-0 whitewash.
The Telegraph, London