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With a draw on Tuesday against Croatia, England will qualify for the Euro 2008 Championships and all will be right in the world. Manager Steve McLaren and his Three Lions will bungle their way to another major tournament.

Qualifying has been a rocky road for England and it needed a lame-duck Israel squad with no chance of qualification to beat Russia, who was playing to qualify, last week. A last minute goal from Omer Golan has granted England a second life.

Now having England in the biggest national tournament after the World Cup is a boon for Europe and the country that claims the beautiful game. England has a bevy of stars, but the drama and constant media attention given to the squad can be nauseating. While I enjoy watching some of the talent England puts on the field (Steven Gerrard, Micah Richards, John Terry and Wayne Rooney to name a few) the squad suffers from over hype and overexposure. England’s struggles to qualify for Euro 2008 along with its World Cup issues have exposed it on the international scene.

Managerial duress, a hoarding tabloid press and players with inflated egos and bank accounts have been a thorn in the squad’s side. Not to mention the David Beckham on again, off again saga that has plagued the team. Having England at Euro 2008 looks good, but how much would the tournament have benefited from a hungry and motivated Russian side.

Once again England appears to be a paper lion.


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