How many of you were thinking what we were thinking the other night as Israel pulled off the victory against Russia that meant England have a chance to qualify for Euro 2008 if they draw against Croatia this Wednesday?
Because both Louise and I were thinking it might not have been a bad thing to miss this one. Maybe then the FA might get their act together and try to sort out the mess that is the national team. But if they do qualify we're faced with another tournament with a team that doesn't work together, a team of talented individuals playing beneath themselves time and time again.
I also feel the entire England team, should they qualify, should publicly apologise to Scotland for having the cheek to qualify through failure whereas the Scotland team are far more deserving of taking the qualifying place. To do what they did, to play with such passion and team spirit and not get through is just a crime. To fail to qualify and then have England, under performing, talentless England, get through by the back door yet again is just unfair.
Perhaps the most damning thing about the farce that was the friendly against Austria was the lack of ideas, the sheer mundanity of selection that meant we were still relying on the past, still refusing to change a formation that has never really worked. To see that midfield four of Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard and Cole was awful.
When MacClaren came out after the World Cup and dropped Beckham Louise and I were both hopeful that maybe, just maybe he was looking to the future, looking past Euro 2008 to the next World Cup and might be considering the next generation of players. But no, come Wednesday it will be the same redundancy of ideas that means we're still playing those 4 across midfield, even though it just doesn't really work. And upfront? Crouch & Defoe? That will really strike fear into the opposition. Pah.