Just when Israel of all teams presented the Euro Finals 2008 to England on a platter by pulling off an upset in Tel Aviv on 17th November by beating Russia 2:1, England had to self destruct by losing 3:2 to Croatia at home in Wembley.
Undoubtedly, Steve McClaren faced an uphill task when injury and suspension forced key players like Rooney, Ferdinand, Neville, Terry and Owen out of the home clash but his poor choice of players and poor tactics ultimately caused England’s downfall.
The toothless lions team looked more like the visitors in front of their home crowd in a game where Croatia took the initiative and controlled the game with 52% possession and made 10 attempts at goal compared with England’s 6.
I really pity the majority English fans from the 88,000 paying crowd, who must have felt utterly cheated when Scott Carson made a school boy error and let in a ridiculous 77th minute 20 meters shot. It doesn’t make sense that McClaren would gamble on an inexperienced goalkeeper when his defense is already depleted of his first choice defenders; Neville, Ferdinand and Terry David James would have been the better choice to give the team more experience and stability.
Steve McClaren deserves to be sacked. But I think the English FA can only blame themselves as they had wanted an Englishman to lead England after the Sven Eriksson debacle. Just take a look around. How many Englishman managers have proven to be successful? The top 5 teams in EPL are lead by a French, a Scot, a Swede, a Spanish, and an Israeli. The line of managers for the top 5 teams speaks for it self.
If they hire Harry Redknapp or Sam Allardyce, they will be repeating the same mistake all over again. Martin O’Neil? Celtic and England is a totally different ball game.
My personal preference would be Felipe Scolari. I think he would bring style and imagination to the English game.
Euro 2008 would definitely miss the English fans.