European Championship 2008 Qualifiers ? Macedonia 0:one England by Steven Cronin -

Steve McClaren?s completely record as boss continued as England ground out a rather uninspiring victory in Macedonia.

The long legs of Peter Crouch were enough to deliver England home happy with all three points and top spot in Group E.

Until the breakthrough at the beginning of the next half, most of the two thousand England fans seen in the stadium may have watched with apprehension because the team entrusted to bring a bright new post-Eriksson era didn't breakdown a stubborn Macedonian defence fresh from a gap day victory against Estonia.

The game started in scrappy fashion, the opening 20 min a succession of free kicks whistled by an over-fussy referee.

The fact neither team could string two passes together hardly helped the action as a spectacle.

England?s patient build-up play was greeted by the chorus of boos and jeers from a partisan home crowd who burned the flag of St George and abused black players during England?s previous visit.

England?s main attacking threat came from Steven Gerrard.

The Liverpool skipper looks dangerous for the right hand side and contains a lot greater impact on a sport as opposed to ousted David Beckham.

But the most important plus for England in recent games has become the emergence of Owen Hargreaves.

The defensive midfielder may be a revelation in the role just while watching back four.

The young Bayern Munich players runs tirelessly, ending it opposition attacks and establishing another England have fun with a simple ball to a get more info single from the more creative players.

Unfortunately, Frank Lampard?s impact on a casino game seems to diminish each and every time England play.

The Chelsea man seems to have lost his way a bit recently and needs a dramatic come back to form to avoid his invest the c's coming under threat.

But England can look forward to the return in the surface of a reasonable group.

The McClaren era is well under way but the tougher tests are yet ahead.

Steven Cronin writes the most popular English Premiership Football news, results and opinion at

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