FORMER England opener Geoff Boycott has accused the current team of a lack of mental toughness after they completed their disastrous Ashes defence with a 10-wicket loss in Sydney today.
While Boycott had expected a series defeat, he was stunned by the extent of the loss, England's first 5-0 whitewash in an Ashes series since 1920-21.
"It's one hell of a beating, isn't it? I mean, they have just been murdered," lamented Boycott.
"Quite frankly, they were totally outplayed. Whenever the questions were being asked of England, they have faltered and they have not been mentally strong enough or technically good enough to hold the Australians at bay.
"There were odd moments in the series when the two teams have come close together and there has not been too much in it.
"And when you just saw England, if they could have been strong enough to get into the contest, they might do something.
"They have just bottled it."
England were bowled out for 147 in quick time today after losing key batsman Kevin Pietersen in the first over of the day to Glenn McGrath, playing his last Test alongside Shane Warne and Justin Langer.
Langer was 20 not out at the end as Australia reached 46-0 in 10.5 overs to wrap up the series humiliation.
Two more former England captains, Nasser Hussain and Ian Botham, believe the current crop of players are too cosseted for their own good.
"I've travelled here with the Australians a little bit in the same hotel. They get on the minibus, Warney with a fag out the window, the windows down," said Hussain.
"You see England with big buses, security guards, 45 backroom staff, all pampered, your bags OK?
"Warney is carrying his bag on his back with his shirt hanging out - they do it themselves."
Botham added: "With the central (England and Wales Cricket Board) contracts we've gone a little bit too much towards what the players want, rather than what we know is good for the players.
"I don't think some of the bowlers bowled enough, that's why we were undercooked and underprepared. We need to get that right and maybe it's just a bit too easy for them at the moment."
Mike Gatting was the last man to lead England to an Ashes series victory over in Australia in 1987 and he was equally dismayed by the sorry outcome this time.
"Flintoff will be totally mentally drained, he has worked his socks off and really given everything he can, but it just hasn't worked for him or the team.
"England have been thoroughly outplayed by a better side. At the start we all had hopes, even myself I thought we could do it but you have to start off well against these guys.
"I think they will know now what it's like to play against a side that's ready to start a Test match as opposed to a side that might not have been."
Gatting felt the preparation was wrong. "Definitely. That is the only thing I can put my finger on. They are good players, but they weren't ready," he added.
New Zealand coach John Bracewell expects a wounded England team to take out their Ashes frustrations on his team in the upcoming one-day Commonwealth Bank Series. England have a Twenty/20 match against Australia in Sydney on Tuesday before they take on Australia in Melbourne next Friday at the start of the triangular one-day series.
"They're a side we hope have taken a dreadful towelling and will be blown apart in terms of morale by the time we arrive," said Bracewell.
"But I doubt it somehow because they have some quality batting within their side and if Flintoff stands up they're a dangerous team.
"They will want to get something out of this and the next focus will be the World Cup, so they have got a lot to play for."