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Remembering the Wally with a Brolly 10 years on

10 years ago today McClaren opened an umbrella at Wembley and the rest is history

When Steve McClaren opened his umbrella on that fateful day in 2007, little did he know it would go on to represent his whole time as England manager.

“That might not look great boss”, assistant manager Terry Venables tried to warn him, but Second Choice Steve would not be told.

Post-Golden Generation England, a weird transitional puberty team, lost 3-2 at home to Croatia that night.

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You knew what you were signing up for.

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You knew what you were signing up for.

In doing so sent England’s qualification hopes for Euro 2008 and McClaren’s England career the same way – down the pan.

Here’s seven things you will have forgotten about that tragic, rainy night 10 years ago today…

1.Wally with the Brolly

No one will remember this will they?

No one will remember this will they?

OK, this one you probably do remember.

How could you forget? It is the lasting image of McClaren with England.

After the farce of failing to qualify in a group with Croatia, Russia, Israel, Macedonia, Estonia and Andorra, McClaren was sacked the very next day.

Despite his 16-month tenure being the second shortest of any England manager after Big Sam’s 67 days, he still managed to make himself and England a laughing stock with his touchline antics and failure on the pitch.

2. Scott Carson’s mistake

Butter fingers.

Times Newspapers Ltd
Butter fingers.

Five days after his international debut, Carson was thrown into England’s most crucial game in the qualifying campaign at the tender age of 22 – nice management Schteve.

It did not go well.

It started to go downhill in the eighth minute when Harry Redknapp’s bessie Niko Kranjcar sent in a speculative effort from 25 yards. Straight shot, no swerve.

Carson got down well but the ball span off his gloves into the net.

I mean it’s expected, England ‘keepers have a history of making big gaffes – Paul Robinson, Rob Green, ‘Calamity David James’…

Ivica Olic rounded him to tap in six minutes later and that was essentially that.

3. Slaven Bilic managed Croatia

He was cool then and he’s cool now

Andy Barr
He was cool then and he’s cool now

Before Bilic was tainted by associating himself with West Ham, he was the rockstar manager of a slick Croatia side from 2006-2012.

First things first he stood up to the elements like a man, beanie on, no brolly in sight.

But let’s remember this tasty Croatia side he put together.

They floated through qualifying scoring 28 goals in 12 games and then beat Germany in the group stage to win Group D.

A loss to Turkey in the quarter finals sadly marked the end for Croatia at Euro 2008.

4. Sol Campbell’s never-ending slide tackle

This match proved to be the nail in the coffin for Sol Campbell’s international career.

However, there was a classic moment in the first half.

Olic was bursting down the left and Campbell came across in typical English centre back fashion… with a perfectly timed slide tackle.

The rain causing McClaren such issues on the sidelines caused Campbell to slide so far he’s cropped up in people’s DMs recently.

5. Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic played for Croatia

A midfield to die for.

A midfield to die for.

Today they are two of the best midfielders in the world, lining up for Real Madrid and Barcelona on a weekly basis.

At the time Modric was playing for Dinamo Zagreb while Rakitic had just signed for Schalke.

22-year-old Modric was impressive in qualifying and the ‘Croatian Cruyff’ controlled the midfield against England – giving the world a taste of things to come.

Spurs signed him that summer and the rest is history.

Rakitic was just 19 at the time and came on as an 84th minute sub for Olic.

They didn’t know it then, but these two would go on to form the classiest international midfield in the world.

6. Peter Crouch was the best striker in England

England’s best ever?

AP:Associated Press
England’s best ever?

Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe and David Nugent had all scored for England in qualifying but it was left to one man to lead the attack in the final crunch game.

Come forth, Crouchy.

With goals against Estonia and Andorra, Crouch had a taste for finding the net.

David Beckham found the Liverpool striker with a lovely cross and Crouchy, making it look like he had all the time in the world, calmly took the ball on his chest and tucked it home.

Pure quality.

That brought England level and they would have qualified on goal difference with a draw.

Absolve yourself Peter.

7. Mladen Petric’s glorious winner

Dream wrecker.

News Group Newspapers Ltd
Dream wrecker.

Unfortunately a draw was not to be and it is all down to Mladen Petric.

He was banging them in for Borussia Dortmund at the time and England afforded him way too much space on his lethal left foot.

No one closed him down  on the edge of the area so he lined up his pneumatic left and released a laser-guided shot which flew past the helpless Carson.

With one swift movement of his left peg he simultaneously sank England’s qualification hopes, fans’ hopes of going to a major tournament, Steve McClaren’s job and England’s record of qualifying for every Euros since 1984.