Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. England lost their crunch match against Russia and qualification for Euro 2008 now looks decidedly dodgy. And what a shame. In the last five or six games, England had started to actually play quite well. But they are paying the price for some truly shocking results last year, most notably against Macedonia and we are now facing the real possibility that England will not be at Euro 2008.
I watched the match and I thought we were unlucky to lose. Dodgy penalty and yet again, dodgy keeping from Paul Robinson was England's undoing. I can't see Robinson keeping his place after once again showing he is not up to the job. There are plenty of good keepers below him - most notably Robert Green and Scott Carson, not to mention David James and even Chris Kirkland. I've never really rated Robinson - I always thought he was more lucky than talented - and now that his luck seems to have deserted him, his shortcomings are there for all to see.
It's not all over yet, though. Russia still have to beat Israel away, which is not a foregone conclusion. However, qualification is no longer in our hands as England have underperformed yet again.
The bigger question is, will McClaren keep his job? He looked like he was starting to get the hang of it, but if we don't qualify, I can't see him staying. Three months ago, there is no way he would even have had a chance of staying. But recent results and performances have been encouraging, exiting even. The FA will have some difficult decisions to make if we don't qualify.
I have to say, I think I probably do want him to go, despite the fact that he now seems to have found his way. Harsh? Probably. But I think that England need a truly world class manager to get the best out of what is clearly a talented bunch of players. And McClaren may be many things, but a world-class manager he is not.