On this day in 2006: England fall to dismal defeat in Croatia

England manager Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren's ill-fated England reign began to unravel in Zagreb in a match famous for Gary Neville's own goal.

England manager Steve McClarenEngland manager Steve McClaren

As Gareth Southgate prepares to take charge of his first away qualifier with England this evening, he would do well to look at the mistakes made 10 years ago to this day to find out how not to settle in to the national job.

Steve McClaren had taken the position after Sven Goran Eriksson's departure following a quarter-final exit at the 2006 World Cup (back when quarter-final exits were seen as huge disappointments) but was already feeling the pressure in his attempts to get the national side to Euro 2008.

Having been held to a goalless draw by Macedonia at Old Trafford on the Saturday, McClaren took his England squad to Zagreb for what promised to be a tricky away tie against a Croatia side that included Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar and Eduardo.

Croatia's Luka Modric celebrates after the gameCroatia's Luka Modric celebrates 

Not the time to start experimenting then, one might imagine. McClaren thought otherwise, opting for a 3-5-2 formation with Gary Neville and Ashley Cole as wing-backs and Scott Parker brought into midfield.

For an England side just about capable of playing 4-4-2, this was an extraordinary decision and one which backfired. Eduardo's header gave the hosts the lead on the hour, before one of the more notorious own goals in England international history sealed the game.

Neville played a seemingly innocuous back pass to Paul Robinson in the England goal, but as the Tottenham goalkeeper prepared for a routine clearance upfield the ball bobbled up. Robinson connected solely with the air and turned in horror as the ball trickled into the net. Having never scored at the right end for England, Neville took his international tally to -1.

England's Paul Robinson looks dejected after Croatia score their second goal of the gameEngland's Paul Robinson looks dejected after Croatia score their second goal of the game

England fans know the rest of the story. Defeat in Russia left them needing a point at home to Croatia in the reverse fixture at Wembley. A 3-2 defeat, ill-advised use of an umbrella on the touchline and a swift resignation followed, before Fabio Capello was given the opportunity to restore pride to the England team. Now four managers on, fans are still waiting.

So what of the England XI who started in Zagreb - where are they now?

 Goalkeeper - Paul Robinson

The match in Croatia was the beginning of the end for Robinson's international career, as it was a qualifying campaign littered with errors for the Tottenham man. The last of these came in Russia and saw the former Leeds gloveman dropped for the decider at Wembley - his replacement, Scott Carson, went on to make a blunder of his own in Croatia's victory.

Paul Robinson - Blackburn RoversPaul Robinson - Blackburn Rovers

The match in Russia was Robinson's 41st England cap and he failed to add to that tally thereafter. He did go on to have a successful spell with Blackburn, and is now with their bitter rivals Burnley as a back-up to Tom Heaton, who himself is currently involved with the England set up. 36 is no age for a goalkeeper, so he could have a few years left in him yet.

Centre-back - Jamie Carragher

A player who would walk in to the current England starting XI, Carragher was unfortunate that the peak of his powers coincided with some stiff competition at the heart of the defence. The switch to a back three gave the Liverpool man his opportunity, but the system never returned and Carragher became frustrated with acting as a squad player.

He retired from international football just a year after the defeat in Zagreb, before returning for one appearance in 2010. Since hanging up his boots at Anfield in 2013, he has become part of the furniture in the Sky Sports studio and formed an excellent on-screen partnership with the man playing to his right in the Croatia defeat.

Jamie Carragher - EnglandJamie Carragher - England

Centre-back - John Terry

McClaren was a big fan of the Chelsea defender - Terry was made captain by the former Middlesbrough boss and responded by scoring the first goal of the McClaren era. A turbulent international career was to follow, with the captaincy removed twice (the second of which led to Fabio Capello's resignation) and Terry's eventual retirement came after Euro 2012.

He remains a key part of Chelsea's back four, but so far calls for Terry to return to the international fold have fallen on deaf ears. He turns 36 in December, so surely now it can be safely said that his England days are over.

Centre-back - Rio Ferdinand

The other half of England's 'golden generation' of centre-backs, Ferdinand and Terry went on to have a fractured relationship as they battled for the captaincy as well as being involved in off-field issues after an incident involving Terry and Anton Ferdinand, Rio's brother.

QPR's Rio FerdinandQPR's Rio Ferdinand

The Manchester United man retired from international duty in 2013 before quitting the game for good after a disappointing spell at QPR. Ferdinand now works as a pundit with various channels and is involved in a social housing project with Bobby Zamora and Mark Noble.

Right wing-back - Gary Neville

Not known for his attacking exploits, Neville was not cut out to play wing-back and the own goal capped a torrid evening for the experienced defender. He retired from international duty in 2007 after winning 85 England caps, but never managed to find the net at the right end.

Nowadays it is probably quicker to list what Neville isn't involved with. Since retiring he has been a manager, a coach, a club owner, an influential pundit and a property developer - he's certainly keeping himself busy.

Left wing-back - Ashley Cole

Arguably the most consistent England performer across the 'golden generation' era, Cole was a genuinely world-class full back but was never wholly popular with fans. This was partly a situation of his own making, with crass statements leading to his 'Cashley' nickname and a move from Arsenal to Chelsea alienating some of his former supporters.

Ashley Cole - AS RomaAshley Cole - AS Roma

After retiring from England duty having failed to make the 2014 World Cup squad, Cole went on to have a season at Roma and is now struggling with LA Galaxy in the MLS.

Centre midfield - Scott Parker

Rewarded with a start in this game as a result of his impressive early season form with Newcastle, Parker struggled against Modric and Kranjcar and was then ignored by England for the next four and a half years.

He was brought back into the fold by Capello and started all four matches under Roy Hodgson at Euro 2012. Parker turns 36 on Thursday and is still going strong for Fulham in the Championship.

Fulham's Scott Parker celebrates at the end of the matchFulham's Scott Parker celebrates at the end of the match

Centre midfield - Michael Carrick

Carrick is another who is unfortunate to have been around when he was, as had he been born a decade later he would surely have earned more than 34 England caps. This was a rare start for the midfielder at this level, who must have lost count of the times he has received call-ups only to then sit on the bench.

He is still an important figure in the Manchester United squad, but looks highly unlikely to get another chance on the international stage, leaving Carrick's England career something that leaves more questions than answers.

Centre midfield - Frank Lampard

If you had been given a pound every time there was a debate over how to fit Lampard and Gerrard into the same England team around this era, you may now have more money than Lampard himself. It was a conundrum that many managers failed to solve, but both still had impressive international careers; Lampard is England's best ever goalscoring midfielder having netted 29 times in 106 appearances.

England's Frank Lampard (R) and Steven Gerrard during trainingEngland's Frank Lampard (R) and Steven Gerrard during training

After leaving Chelsea in 2015, Lampard is now averaging a goal every other game with New York City in the MLS, aged 38. A media career probably beckons, but as an intelligent player it would be interesting to see how he would get on in coaching.

Striker - Peter Crouch

The giant frontman was finding international football very much to his liking during this period; he ended this qualifying campaign as England's top scorer and went on to score 22 times in 42 England games.

Still playing with Stoke City, Crouch is now being used mainly as a different option from the bench rather than from the start. He has been linked with loan moves away, but remains part of Mark Hughes' plans at the Bet365 Stadium. 

Stoke City's Peter Crouch celebrates scoring their first goalStoke City's Peter Crouch celebrates

Striker - Wayne Rooney

The only player from this match who remains with England, the debate rages on as to whether that should be the case. Now back in the news after being dropped for tonight's fixture, the 'how to fit Rooney in' is the 'can Gerrard and Lampard play together' of 2016.

He remains captain of Manchester United and England and is set to retire with the all-time goalscoring records for both, but yet Rooney still divides opinion like few others. Set to retire after the 2018 World Cup, there is still time for the 30-year-old to have an impact on the international stage.

England's Wayne RooneyEngland's Wayne Rooney

Substitute - Shaun Wright-Phillips

A pacy winger who saw his playing time suffer as a result of a move to Chelsea, Wright-Phillips remained part of the England set up until the 2010 World Cup. Now playing for New York Red Bulls alongside his brother, Bradley.

Substitute - Jermain Defoe

May well have seen a return to the England fold had his former Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce remained in the job, but those chances look slimmer under Southgate. If he keeps finding the net for the Black Cats, however, you never know.

Substitute - Kieran Richardson

Aston Villa's  Kieran RichardsonAston Villa's Kieran Richardson

Yes, you read that right. After making several substitute appearances under McClaren, Richardson disappeared from the international stage and went on to frustrate Aston Villa fans during their dismal relegation. The 31-year-old currently finds himself without a club.

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