England Fail to Qualify for Euro 2008

Take 2 minutes to answer our Euro 2020 survey and win a £50 Amazon voucher!

[Editor’s note: for a minute-by-minute live blog report of the England-Croatia game, see this post] 

One word: Nightmare. On the night of the most important games for England in recent years they bottled it. A gutless and nervy performance from every player. They gave it away all throughout the game and constantly played long balls up-field to Crouch who nodded it on for no body to get onto. Where was the player I said should have been playing just behind him?

The second half performance was better after Beckham and Defoe were introduced to the game. Defoe was making the runs and Beckham was getting the balls in…for a very short period only. They were all just too nervous and never controlled the game. Despite the Croatians already qualifying for Euro 2008 they still played as if they wanted it more and simply outclassed England.

Israel had done England the biggest favour any nation could at the weekend after beating Russia. Did England go out and fight for it, proving the critics wrong booking themselves into next year’s championships? Did they hell! They always gave it away at the key moment and couldn’t handle the Croats counter attacks (which were dangerous every single time.) They outclassed us in every part of the field; their passing — clinical; their finishing — crucial; defensively — experts. Some times in football the best form of attack is defence and they proved that tonight. Slaven Bilic used to be a defender in his playing days so the way he’s organised the back is superb.

In my previous article for SL, “Who should start for England“, I wrote that despite Paul Robinson’s calamities for the Three Lions recently, starting the game with Scott Carson would be a massive call. The lad had never played a home game for England so why, why, WHY should he start this one…the most important of England games!? I admit I was surprised to see McClaren had chosen Carson to start: I didn’t think he had the balls to make a decision like that. A decision which no doubt will cost him his job. Good. I didn’t think he had the credentials to manage the team in the first place and never thought he was right for the task.

Carson’s role tonight was inexcusable. He was at total fault for the first goal. A lack of concentration saw a long range effort, which should have been dealt with easily, bounce into the net. All he had to do was get his whole body behind it. After conceding that goal England’s heads dropped and they found themselves on the back foot the rest of the game. The second goal wasn’t his fault, it was the England defence’s. They allowed the Croats too much time and after Eduardo’s exquisite through ball several of them didn’t even follow the runner, playing for the offside instead. Major error.

As gutted as I am to say it, England will not be in Euro 2008 and will have no-one to blame but themselves. The worst result of the rollercoaster campaign was the 0-0 draw at home to Macedonia. How can that score line be justified? England need to move on from this quickly and most importantly learn from it. There are serious lessons to be learnt and much reflection needs to be done. Fair enough, in tonight’s game England were missing Terry, Ferdinand, Rooney and Owen, but it’s not an excuse. They still had the players capable of going out there and getting a draw, at the very least. In all honesty, the reality of it is that right now, England needed this kick up the ass. The way they played throughout much of the campaign, they didn’t deserve to qualify. Now England fans must decide what to do next summer and McLaren has to be considering his future, which surely won’t involve England anymore.

On England...
Transfer Roundup: Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Newcastle United, Manchester City, Celtic, Portsmouth


  1. Keith Kaira II 22 November, 2007
  2. varun 22 November, 2007
  3. BeckhamUnited 22 November, 2007
  4. paul cate 22 November, 2007
  5. James 22 November, 2007
  6. Alex Haslam 22 November, 2007
  7. James 22 November, 2007
  8. paul cate 22 November, 2007
  9. paul cate 22 November, 2007
  10. paul cate 22 November, 2007
  11. paul cate 22 November, 2007
  12. paul cate 22 November, 2007
  13. I hate steve Mclaren 22 November, 2007
  14. I hate steve Mclaren 22 November, 2007
  15. paul cate 22 November, 2007
  16. Zizou 22 November, 2007
  17. Big Cheesy 22 November, 2007
  18. Big Cheesy 22 November, 2007
  19. zed 22 November, 2007
  20. Big Cheesy 22 November, 2007
  21. michael 22 November, 2007
  22. The Fab 4-ronaldinho/eto'o/henry/messi 22 November, 2007
  23. EDDIE 22 November, 2007
  24. Bucefal 22 November, 2007
  25. ByeBye 22 November, 2007
  26. Nerazzurri 22 November, 2007
  27. englandareshitovic 22 November, 2007
  28. NiKOS_LoVeS_Warzycha 22 November, 2007
  29. Liverpool_Fan 22 November, 2007
  30. Croat 22 November, 2007
  31. Marcel @ Footballexpo.com 22 November, 2007
  32. Hursh Joshi 23 November, 2007
  33. HawkyJason 23 November, 2007
  34. HawkyJason 23 November, 2007
  35. ContinentalH 26 November, 2007
  36. engleskiidioti 8 December, 2007
  37. Big Cheesy 26 April, 2008