The tepid elevator muzac that usually plays in Steve McClaren’s head has now been replaced by the banshee scream of constant alarm bells. The Sun has today succinctly painted the nightmare picture for Steve McClaren and his merry band of English minstrels. Not only is Israel’s goalkeeping coach Alexander Ubarov “a Russia-born former Soviet Union international keeper who has gained Israeli citizenship” but he has also admitted that he wants Russia to qualify.
The Sun are predictably wetting themselves over all this news but Steve McClaren must be privately thinking exactly the same thing, Rooney is crippled, Benayoun is crocked, and Israel’s keeping coach is a former Russian! Eurgh!
Ubarov said that although he wants Russia to qualify, Israel wont be total pushovers, phew that’s a relief then! Ubarov said:
â€œI would like Russia to qualify for the Euros â€” and for them that means winning in Israel. I told them itâ€™s not going to be easy â€” theyâ€™ll have to be totally prepared. In the 16 years I have been involved with the Israeli squad, we have never done anything but to try our best in every single match. I would like Russia to qualify â€” but only if it means that they deserve to. Everything will be decided on the pitch, nowhere else.â€
However Stevie McClaren shouldn’t count his chickens, as Israel will field a team made up of bewildered youngsters against the win-or0bust Russians, whoop-de-doo(!) Ubarov said:
â€œThere will be new players in the team who will want to prove themselves. The game is at home so, basically, we have nothing to lose. We may have some youngsters on the pitch â€” the kind of players that would give it all since they are eager to prove themselves.â€
So that’s pretty done and dusted then, England look like they’ll be staying at home watching the nausea inducing efforts of Gary Lineker and company, whilst Russia are gallivanting through the Euro 2008 tournament!