Who Was The Last England Manager To Lose A Euro Qualifying Match?
England head into tonight’s match against the Czech Republic on the back of progression to the Nations League Finals, which came after an unexpectedly impressive World Cup campaign.
June’s showpiece event is now less than three months away, however at the moment attention is pinned firmly on the Euro 2020 qualifiers. The Three Lions have been thrown in Group A alongside the Czechs, Montenegro - who they face on Monday - Bulgaria, and Kosovo.
On paper, it should be a smooth ride through to next major tournament, especially given that the top-two teams are assured of a place at the Finals. Should England endure a horror show and fail to progress automatically then they will have a second chance to book their place.
How have England performed in past qualifications for the European Championships?
Pretty well actually, the problems tend to arise when they get to the actual tournament - they’ve reached the semi-finals once since 1968, although in that particular tournament there were only four teams.
Roy Hodgson’s England tenure may have ended in a combination of humiliation and misery after his side meekly exited Euro 2016 to Iceland, however he oversaw a perfect qualification campaign during which England won all 10 of their matches.
Four years earlier Hodgson’s predecessor, Fabio Capello, also went unbeaten when he won five and drew three of his eight games, before he sensationally quit his post a few months later in the lead up to Euro 2012.
Then, there was 2008. Oh dear. It’s a qualification campaign that has been shoved into the back of every fan’s mind. For good reason.
Back then there were seven teams fighting it out for two progression spots, although that’s simply no excuse.
We all know what happened, an England side featuring the likes of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, and Frank Lampard got beaten 3-2 by Croatia on their own patch while a hapless Steve McClaren watched on under the safety of his umbrella, which may have protected him from the rain, but not from the monumental media storm that followed.
Not only is McClaren the last manager to fail to lead England through to a major tournament, but that defeat to Croatia was also the last time The Three Lions were defeated in a European Championship qualifier.
England have since gone unbeaten in their last 18 qualifying matches, winning 15, and drawing three. They are currently enjoying a 10 game winning run in Euro qualifiers, while Gareth Southgate’s men are currently enjoying a three game winning run, which includes victories of Spain and World Cup runners-up Croatia.
Speaking of Southgate, not only is he a National Treasure, but he’s only lost one of his 15 matches at Wembley since replacing Big Sam in September 2016.