Hear me out.
For a start, he didn't pick himself - someone so hopelessly out of his depth in international football, so tactically inept, clumsily pisspoor at man management and so useless in the role general that it's embarrassing - as England coach; he merely applied for the job. Now that it's obvious to the FA that they fucked up, they'll get rid of him - and he'll trouser a lovely £2.5million. For failing. For wasting our time. For not being good enough.
I've never understood why football managers don't have to go through a probationary period of employment. Why not? Let's see if he's good enough. If not, never mind; back to obscurity for you, and we'll say no more about it - and we won't have to pay you for being rubbish. Or why didn't the FA give him a performance-related clause - no Euro 2008, we can guillotine the deal now? Were they really so arrogant as to think, because we're England and we've got The Best League In The World (tm), we're going to sail through the qualifiers against good international teams who can actually pass a football without it bouncing off their knees and flying out for a throw?
Funny thing is, have you ever heard anyone call the Croatian league 'the best in the world'? No. The Russian league, best in the world is it? No. And yet... the international teams, better than England, home of the Premiership, the league that everyone wants to watch. Does it have to be a choice? Must it come down to Premiership v England? If it does, I prefer international football. No fixed matches (Russia v Israel proved that), no dodgy agents, no bungs, no oligarchs, no Sky forcing you to suck Murdoch's dick to watch it. And, compared to the Prem, there are no donkeys, no ballast teams, no Bolton Wanderers, no scrappers who can't pass the ball but still manage to batter their way through... except, of course, maybe England. Is that what we've come to? Football makeweights? How did this happen?
Ever since I've watched England, from the Admiral 82 kit to the present day, I've always been struck by a thought that I found too curious to articulate as a child. The thought is this: why is everyone else better at keeping the ball than us? Why can't we actually control the football and be comfortable stroking it around? Why do we panic when we've put two or three passes together, then get a rush of blood to the head and lump it up the middle, hoping for a jammy deflection? It's always been that way and it's never changed, not in my lifetime. Even playing minnows, the gulf in technical skill has been obvious: England have beaten lesser teams through pace, fitness and aggression, not through skill or guile and certainly not through technique or tactical nous on behalf of the coach, whoever he's been. The trouble is, those 'minnows' kept working on their technique down the years, working hard on fitness and pace, and now they're overtaking us.
In 1966, England ruled the world. To celebrate, they decided never to move on with the times. We're still stuck there, hoping that Bobby Charlton's going to bang in a cannonball from 30 yards; we're still dreaming that we can get past the other sides in world football despite being less able to keep the ball. It's not going to happen. Something is dramatically wrong and it has been that way for ages. And the annoying thing is, I care. It irritates the hell out of me. Just at a time when English pride is becoming something worthwhile, something good, dragged away from the lowlife and back into the hands of the majority, we don't have anything to be proud about on the football field.
As I write this, the FA are preparing to meet at Soho Square to consider McClaren's position. They'll sack the hopeless fool of course, as they should do; but if they had a shred of dignity, the idiots in blazers would do the decent thing and resign themselves. They have allowed England's decline to happen, while rolling in money. They have appointed the wrong man. They have seen nothing wrong out there on the pitch when every fan with even a rudimentary knowledge of the game has been noticing it for decades: we aren't good enough. We don't deserve to be in the finals of this tournament, and maybe we don't deserve to make the World Cup again unless we can prove ourselves worthy. But to do that will take someone to stand up and admit there's a problem. Will the FA do it? Or will they hope it goes away?