When McClaren reverted to the ineffective midfield four of Cole-Lampard-Gerrard-Beckham against Austria you had to wonder what the last 18 months had been about, nothing had changed one bit. And then there was his decision to stick with Robinson in goal against the Russians a month ago, even though everyone knew he was in the worst form of his life. McClaren was as much in awe of the big boys as Sven.
But now look what’s happened, on the eve of his biggest ever game (ish) McClaren is finally showing some bottle and dropping Beckham and Robinson, according to the BBC, who outline the team news thus:
The England boss is believed to have opted for the inexperienced Carson, with Paul Robinson on the bench.
Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips is tipped to replace Beckham at Wembley.
Gareth Barry is expected to join Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole in a five-man midfield, with Peter Crouch on his own up front.
He’s still got that Lampard fixation but when you are going five in midfield I suppose you don’t have much option. Radio 5’s Mike Ingham offered the thought that:
“Whatever the outcome this evening McClaren can hardly stand accused of shying away from bold and tough decisions.”
Is that enough?