According to various media reports, Steve McClaren has dropped both David Beckham and Paul Robinson for Wednesday's crucial Euro 2008 qualifier between England and Croatia. The England coach revealed his starting lineup to the players Tuesday night but wouldn't formally tell the media ahead of today's game.
Plenty has been said about the significance of Beckham's relegation to the bench, but according to the Telegraph, Tottenham keeper Robinson hasn't even made the teamsheet for the match. Instead, Portsmouth's David James has been named the substitute goalkeeper, while Aston Villa's Scott Carson is set to start. It's unclear whether the decision to omit Robinson altogether was his or McClaren's. Robinson had been England's first-choice for the entire Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, recording nine clean sheets in eleven appearances, but following a couple high-profile mistakes, notably a freak own goal in Croatia last year, it looks like McClaren has finally lost his faith in the Tottenham keeper.
Former Everton keeper Neville Southall believes the move will end Robinson's international career. "Steve McClaren is effectively sticking two fingers up at Paul and saying he does not trust him in a big game," he told the Guardian. "Paul will be devastated and his relationship with McClaren will also be finished. McClaren will have totally lost him. Paul will interpret being dropped as the England manager saying: 'I don't trust you; you've done nothing for me.'"