What a difference a couple of minutes make; the ball hits the outside of the post at one end, and at the other Israel go and bag the winner. Within those two minutes, Steve McClaren was transformed from a weeping mess sitting on his loo sobbing quietly to himself into England’s victorious hero manager.
These vital two minutes also changed opinions of Guus Hiddink, with Russian striker Alexander Kerzhakov now attacking the Dutchman for his myopic tactics against the Israelis. Kerzahkov was left stewing in his own creative juices on the bench whilst the Russians floundered, and Kerzakov lamented:
“He (Hiddink) is the boss, but I cannot understand why I didn’t play a single minute when we needed to score goals. I am gutted we went there complacent and thought everything was done and dusted. Israel played their game and stunned us. I am shattered. Nobody thought we could lose. We were all convinced of victory.”
And, boy, did the Russians have a treat waiting for them in the changing rooms, the players were met with the sight of Roman Ambramovic, luminous with rage, steam blasting out of his ears, who delivered an utter shellacking to the poor players. God knows what kind of verbal mauling he delivered to Hiddink but one thing is for sure, any possible link with the Chelsea job is now long gone.