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/ 2 June 2008

Europe gears up for a six-week party

In the week before a major tournament like Euro 2008 the streets of England’s towns and cities take on an unusually unified look. The red and white flag of St George appears everywhere. It can be seen draped in shop displays, fluttering from houses and stuck to the sides of every other car.

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/ 7 February 2008

Capello off to a winning start

England improved dramatically as the match progressed to give Italian Fabio Capello a winning start as coach with a 2-1 victory over Switzerland in a friendly international at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday. Midfielder Jermaine Jenas scored his first England goal and the first of the Capello era with a first-time left foot shot.

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/ 14 December 2007

Capello handed England job until 2012

Italian Fabio Capello was named as the new England head coach until 2012 by the Football Association on Friday. The FA confirmed his appointment on a four-and-a-half year contract in a statement on its website. The 61-year-old succeeds Steve McClaren who was sacked last month after England failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

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/ 7 December 2007

Will José be England’s saviour?

Even if Brian Barwick picks up the telephone to make the call almost every England fan is clamouring for, the Football Association might not end up with José Mourinho as the next national manager. But the FA’s chief executive would get detailed insight into what it will take to make England succeed from one of the most successful and intelligent managers.

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/ 25 November 2007

‘My dear, a penis and a mountain’

A British opera singer who sang Croatia’s national anthem before their crucial football victory over England blundered by accidentally singing about his manhood, British media reported on Friday. Tony Henry’s explicit rendition was delivered before about 90 000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium.

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/ 22 November 2007

England sack coach McClaren

Steve McClaren paid the price of England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 on Thursday when he was unceremoniously dismissed from his position as head coach. McClaren was sacked less than 12 hours after a 3-2 win for Croatia at Wembley, combined with Russia’s 1-0 win in Andorra, confirmed that England would miss out on the tournament.

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/ 22 November 2007

Press pound England boss

Britain’s newspapers savaged Steve McClaren on Thursday after the England manager failed to guide his team to the 2008 European Championships. McClaren was expected to be sacked within hours of going to print as the national press put the boot into the Yorkshireman following Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat to Croatia.

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/ 20 November 2007

Euro 2008 hopefuls scrap for last four places

The cast list for Euro 2008 will be completed on Wednesday with England, Northern Ireland and Portugal among those nations scrapping it out for one of the four remaining places. The treacherous business of qualifying began 15 months ago and now, after more than 3 000 minutes of play, it’s make or break time for England.

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/ 18 November 2007

England thrown Euro lifeline as Scotland miss again

Italy, Spain and France secured their Euro 2008 passages on Saturday but there was heartbreak for Scotland while England’s slim hopes received a major boost from Israel. After last month’s defeat in Moscow, England’s Euro 2008 fate was taken out of their hands but Israel’s 2-1 upset of Russia in Tel Aviv made them masters of their own destiny once again.

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/ 16 October 2007

Euro 2008: England receive boost, France face injuries

England have received a welcome boost, France have injury setbacks while Scotland manager Alex McLeish claimed his team were up against it to go through in the run-up to Wednesday night’s Euro 2008 qualifiers. England negotiate a tricky tie on an artificial pitch in Russia, France host Lithuania after a horrendous journey to the Faroe Islands and Scotland have an important trip to Georgia.

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/ 9 September 2007

Italy and France in deadlock, joy for Germany, England

Italy drew 0-0 with France in their World Cup final repeat, Germany and England notched easy wins and 10-man Spain were frustrated by a 1-1 draw in Iceland in Saturday’s Euro 2008 qualifiers. The battle to reach the finals in Austria and Switzerland also saw The Netherlands beat Bulgaria 2-0, while the day’s other upset left Turkey with only a 2-2 draw in Malta.

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/ 3 September 2007

Chelsea stunned by Villa

Jose Mourinho must be developing an intense hatred for visits to Villa Park after Martin O’Neill condemned Chelsea to yet another dose of Midlands misery. Debutant Zat Knight and Gabriel Agbonlahor both scored in the second half to leave Mourinho still waiting for his first Premier League victory at this particular corner of the West Midlands.

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/ 2 September 2007

Reds on top after Derby demolition

Liverpool brandished their credentials as potential English Premiership champions with a 6-0 demolition of Derby on Saturday as champions Manchester United continued to recover from their slow start to the season. The pressure on Tottenham boss Martin Jol increased after his side drew in a six-goal thriller at Fulham.