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Big Words

Steve McClaren

So I’ve just checked the BBC Sport website, and once again I read about another dismal performance from the England team (Israel 0-0 England).

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Look how far we've come

As I sit here writing these thoughts in early July 2004, still mourning the defeat against Portugal in a Euro 2004 Quarter Final, I find it having the effect of waking me up, and the realisation that the England team has come a long way.

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Looking back: UEFA Euro 2004 - Portugal

Many pundits were suggesting that Euro 2004 was our best chance of winning at international tournament since Italia ‘90. Who would have doubted them - Beckham, Owen, Scholes, Campbell - the old guard, backed up with some impressive young talent in the shape of Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and John Terry.

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England v Leichenstein

England playing at Old Trafford My first England game and what better place to watch it than at the theatre of dreams - Old Trafford. The first half was quite a dull affair with the fans cheering the flight of paper planes onto the pitch rather than the players.

The second half and two goals from Rooney and Owen in the first ten or so minutes and it was looking like the goals would start rushing in. They didn’t, but the result was good enough to mean only a draw is needed in Turkey.

Looking back: FIFA World Cup 2002 - Korea Japan

World Cup Mascots The FIFA World Cup 2002 was the first to be held in Asia, as well as the first time it was co-hosted by two nations. The tournament was full of ‘firsts’ - to the right you can see the competitions mascots - the first time that these have been computer animated (and indeed the first time there has been more than one) instead of the traditional cartoon style.

Continuing this theme South Korea was the first Asian team to reach a world cup semi-final, and the first meeting in a final of the tournaments two most successful teams - Germany and Brazil - with Kafu the first player to play in three world cup finals!

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Germany 1, England 5

Scoreboard Thanks to me ashamedly forgetting to book a day of work to watch this match, I had to result to paying someone 20 quid in order for them to do part of my shift, so that I could come home to watch it.

Was the opportunity to watch this match live worth £20? It was worth every single penny!

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