Wednesday, October 11, 2006
After the first two Euro 2008 qualifying games Steve McClaren was doing okay in his new job as England manager. England had two wins although we'd not really played brilliantly. The next game (played last Saturday) was at home against Macedonia - a certain win surely. Not so as it happens, as we can only eek out a 0-0 draw. We just didn't play well at all and created very few chances. So we have 7 points out of what should really have been 9, but there's always going to be a few anomolies in the qualifying groups, so we'll take it as one of those mishaps. Today we played Croatia away from home, which admittedly should be a much tougher game. However you'd think we'd have picked ourselves up after Saturday's performance and tried to turn things around. Again it is not so, we didn't have a single shot on target until into the 90th minute! What's going on? It's just not right! Prior to our one and only challenge for the Croatian keeper we'd conceded two goals, and Paul Robinson had to be our best player because he was being tested so much and had to make some great saves. Robinson was the subject of a horrific bit of misfortune in the Croatian second goal, with a Neville passback bobbling right over Robinson's foot for the attempted clearance. No excuses though, we just didn't play well. McClaren, sort it out! And don't be changing the system from 4-4-2 (which we know and can play under) to 3-5-2 (new and strange)! Ok, that was an attempted excuse. Next up (competatively) is Israel next March. Let's hope the break does us good, as there are now 4 teams in our group on 7 points, and two have games in hand over us.