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English Grounded After Limp Israel Performance

Like grounded children, Coach Steve McClaren on Saturday said, "They'll be in this evening" after his England players produced a thoroughly impotent attacking display during its 0-0 Euro 2008 qualifier against Israel in Tel Aviv. The result certainly didn't make McClaren look any better or any more competent as national team coach-England now hasn't won in its last five internationals, a new record.

Reports of infighting following the game suggest the players aren't happy with the manager's tactics, either. The British press, meanwhile, which was fed up with McClaren after England's first three qualifying matches, continues to rain down criticism on a regime that's looked considerably worse than the boring England produced by Sven-Goran Eriksson.

McClaren, of course, is adamant that England can still qualify for the Euro 2008 finals, a feat that many hoped would be a formality when the campaign started last September. England is now third in Group E, five points behind Croatia and three behind Guus Hiddink's Russia. It plays last-place Andorra on Wednesday, a game in which the Lions will be expected to improve upon their poor goal differential.

Read the whole story at The Guardian »

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