Disappointing, if unsurprising, end to the Test - I've an idea I read somewhere once that more days of Test cricket have been washed out at Manchester than anywhere else (even Melbourne). It was great to see us fight back so well after the abomination that was the previous Test, and it would have been good to see if we'd have been able to sustain the effort long enough to force the win.
Oh, well. There are bigger issues in life than winning / losing a few games of cricket.
England have been the better side and the result of the series reflects that. However, I reckon they're not quite as good as some people appear to believe. Vaughan's claim that they can "dominate their era" seems rather comical given their struggles against the might of New Zealand earlier this year, both away and at home. (The fact we failed to match NZ in the "make England battle" stakes is still another indictment on the current state of the game here.) Their batting isn't the force it was a couple of years ago and a few of their bowlers seem to struggle a bit when conditions don't entirely suit. But they retain the Ashes and they won't much care about the hows and whys of it all. They remain a very, very good side and have deservedly retained the urn.
Still much to play for in the next couple of Tests, for both sides. We need to sustain the renewed effort seen at Old Trafford. England will want, at the very least, to paper over some of the minor but not insignificant cracks that have appeared in the series to date. Bring it on.