As England go into their must-win match against Bangladesh, it is hard to ignore the sense that the first vultures are beginning to circle around their dressing room.
While one or two of the players - notably James Anderson and Eoin Morgan - are now playing for their future in ODI cricket, it is the management team who will be sitting most uncomfortably.
While "English cricket" and "ignominy" are hardly strangers - indeed, they are rumoured to have one another on speed dial - the failure to reach the quarter-finals of a World Cup designed to render it almost impossible for a Full Member side to be eliminated in the group stages would rank among the greatest humiliations in their history. And the competition for that title is hot.
The consequences for the individuals involved could be dire.
The election of Colin Graves as chairman of the ECB had added urgency to England's rebuilding project. Graves has many virtues, but patience and acceptance of failure are not among them.
After Yorkshire were relegated in the 2011 County Championship, Graves - their chairman at the time - launched a ferocious attack on the players, calling their performance "a disgrace."
Ajmal Shahzad left the club a short while afterwards, with Graves' stinging criticism ringing in his ears. If England are knocked out of the World Cup before the quarter-finals neither the players nor the coaching staff should expect the reaction to be limited to a phlegmatic shrug.
It might prove relevant, too, that Graves appointed Jason Gillespie as Yorkshire's coach. The pair retain a strong relationship, with Graves known to be a huge admirer of Gillespie's work. It would be no surprise if he were England coach before the year is out.
We are not there yet. England have won the last three Tests they played and have seen several young players - Moeen Ali, Garry Ballance, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler - successfully integrated into a new-look side in the longer format. They also have the ability to play a far superior brand of cricket than they have shown in this World Cup to date.
Furthermore, it was always understood that Peter Moores, the current coach, inherited a team in a transitional phase. It was always understood that the rebuilding job would take time.
It was a point made by Moores when asked what contribution he thought he had made over the last 12 months.
"Time tells," he said. "I'd love to say things change straight away but they don't.
"We've seen the emergence of some players. The emergence of Moeen Ali has been exciting, Joe Root has come through and really grown as a player.
"There's work to be done. We have to look at how we work with our younger ODI players, how we prepare people so that they can play the right style of cricket.
"There are some real challenges in there as well and we're in one at the moment at this World Cup. It's a longer-term thing than just now. Most times with coaching you get judged over time and what you end up leaving behind as well as what you do there and then."
There are similarities here with Moores' first period as England coach. On that occasion, too, he gained the job with the team in transition and several highly-successful players coming to the end of their careers.
Moores played an important - if largely forgotten - role in laying the foundations for later success. It was Moores who decided that it was time to move on from the new ball pair of Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard and gave the opportunity to Anderson and Stuart Broad. It was Moores who opted for Graeme Swann as his spinner and Matt Prior as his keeper. And it was Moores who backed Ryan Sidebottom.
Andy Flower, named coach of the year after England went to No. 1 in the Test rankings a couple of years later, was always quick to credit the platform built by his friend and predecessor.
While Moores attracted criticism during his first spell as coach for his somewhat intense style - memorably characterised as "the woodpecker" by Kevin Pietersen - there is no evidence of such faults this time.
Instead, the atmosphere within the England camp if noticeably lighter than it was under Flower. Moores and his good-natured deputy, Paul Farbrace, have built an environment which is far less governed by cliques and in which most characters (there is one obvious exception) seem welcome and valued. There should be no doubting their good intentions or dedication.
All of which is great. But ultimately the only yardstick that matters is results. And England's results in this World Cup have not just been dire, they have been embarrassing. No amount of good spirit makes amends for that.
It may well prove to be Paul Downton's role as MD of England cricket which is in most jeopardy. His main problem is simply the growing doubt over whether his role is really necessary. But it is also fair to ask whether he enjoys the full confidence of those with whom he works.
If he did not turn up for work on Tuesday, it might be several weeks before anyone noticed. At an organisation looking to save money, that is a vulnerable position.
Both Moores and Downton will probably both remain in place for the Ashes. There is a recognition that both inherited difficult positions and, perhaps, an understanding that both are suffering by association with an organisation that had a toxic reputation long-before their involvement.
Still, Moores - having been through all this before - could be forgiven for questioning why he let himself in for more punishment and accepted the England role once more.
He insists that it is not the case. "I've no regrets at all," he said. "I came in because I felt I could help make a difference.
"We know in the one-day format that we've been behind and it's an area we have to get better. But I've no regrets on taking on the challenge.
"International cricket is played by tough men. There's no compromising that and when people come into that environment they have to get used to it.
"There's pressure in the World Cup and there's pressure on us as a team because we haven't played as well as we would have liked. We have got to win the game. International cricket is about handling pressure.
"We've had some challenges and the ability to handle pressure and play under pressure is part of the job. We're very aware of it and we're up for the challenge."
A substantial part of Moores' - and England's - problem is that his senior players have performed poorly in the tournament. Anderson and Broad are both averaging in the 90s with the ball, Eoin Morgan has yet to reach 50 and Ian Bell has a top score of 54 in four matches. More is required from all of them if England are to progress.
To that end, Anderson and Broad have been instructed to bowl the full length that has brought swing - and rewards - to their opponents and it is possible that Chris Woakes will reclaim the new ball from Broad's clutches. It would appear that a lack of confidence has been the issue for Anderson, in particular, which is remarkable for a man with such an illustrious past.
Experienced players have to take the bulk of the responsibility for their performance, but perhaps it does not reflect well on Moores that Anderson has performed in so reticent a manner.
He may come to regret, too, changing the team on the eve of the tournament and sending out a mixed message by talking of playing with confidence and then selecting Gary Ballance to provide ballast with the bat.
England can still turn this around. They have a powerful batting line-up and, while the lack of death bowling is surely a fatal flaw, they have the skill to damage the opposition with the new ball.
But talk of potential is irrelevant now. It is time to shut up and show us. Several futures may depend upon it.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo