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Chapter 8: Euro 2008

June 9, 2014

The Dog pub fell into complete silence. Niko Kranjcar’s long range effort should’ve been saved easily, but on a treacherous surface the ball skidded through debutant Scott Carson’s grasp, and the Croat’s had benefitted from another England goalkeeping blunder.

Carson was just 22, a risk from Steve McLaren throwing him in there for such a massive fixture as Paul Robinson never even made the bench.

Minutes later it was 2-0 as Ivica Olic rounded Carson… Why did I bother swapping my evening shift at work for this?

The 2nd half saw Beckham coming on and bit of a fightback; Lamps’ penalty and Crouchy scoring to draw us level. As it stood, we were going to Austria (or Switzerland, one of the two!)

The mood lifted in the Dog, Becks had come on and England had upped it – just like Greece all over again.

But before we could start thinking about where to put our Euro 2008 wallcharts, Petric smashed home a winner for the Croats.

McLaren stood under his brolley, the ref blew time, Wembley booed, Varlsy got the whisky’s in.

Sacked in the morning.

The lowlights – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GH4Hex-7W4


Steve McLaren took over after World Cup ’06 and made changes right away which included dropping Beckham and Sol Campbell. Andorra were beaten 5-0 at Old Trafford and it was business as usual.

A tough away win at Macedonia followed , 1-0  – Crouch again.

Next up was Macedonia at home then Croatia away in an October double header, and this is when things started to turn…

I was at Old Trafford for the Macedonia game which finished 0-0 as England could just not find a way through the Macedonian defence, Gary Neville hitting the bar the closest we came.

I was in the New Inn for the Croatia game; as Paul Robinson totally missed Gary Neville’s back-pass I was wishing I had stayed-inn.

A poor performance and a 2-0 defeat.

Next up Isreal away, and a chance of returning to winning ways slipped away as we drew 0-0.

Andorra away followed, David Nugent scoring one of the best England goals ever in a 3-0 win – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujijaZHneJQ

England won 3-0 away at Estonia on my 21st birthday, before Isreal were beaten 3-0 at home and we were beginning to look half decent under Steve Mc, if only against lower opposition.

Next up were Russia who as well as the Croats, were also going well in what was becoming a fiercely competitive group.

Stevie Mc must’ve thought he was getting the hang of this international management malarkey as England won again, – 3-0, again!

We then beat Estonia 3-0!

The 3-0 run would come to an abrupt end in Russia though, Rooney giving us the lead but we eventually lost 2-1 and this group was getting tight.

However, results definitely went our way on the 17th November as both Russia and Croatia lost.

But in front of 88,091, the same night Russia played in front of 200 at Andorra, we blew it against the Croats and for the first time since 1994 England were not going to a major tournament.

I still collected the Panini sticker album though 😉

The stats and facts – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_2008

Euro 2008 goals – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buEnDPsrjJY

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