"Israel were so poor you wondered how they ever managed to come to Wembley in second place in the group and how England could work themselves into such a state about having to beat them." The paper also stated that English goalie Paul Robinson got a chance from coach Steve McClaren to play, but didn't get a chance to touch the ball during the game.Aunty Beeb:
the team played so terribly that "Israel did not even force a save out of keeper Paul Robinson."The Mail:
Under the headline "Don't get carried away, England," the paper warned coach McClaren: "Owen's 38th goal for his country... was the highlight of an easy win against an awful Israel side," but it "will be a different test altogether when unbeaten Russia arrive in London."And unthinkable under the Black/Amiel regime:
The Sunday Telegraph jeered at Israel for failing miserably, trying to come in and ruin things for England without knowing how to do it.If Lord and Lady Black were dead they'd be spinning in their graves.
And where's Howard Jacobson when you need him?
The Independent was downright insulting: "McClaren may have stuck his neck out in sticking with Paul Robinson in goal and recalling Emile Heskey, but as it turned out he could have fielded David James, Gordon Banks or Brian Barwick [Director of the English football association] between the posts without anxiety." The paper concluded: "Israel's record of only one defeat in 18 previous qualification matches over the past two tournaments was made to look inexplicable as they struggled to contain some lively English attacking and made no headway whatever themselves, still using only one striker 40 minutes after falling behind."And of course, this being a round up of Sunday papers and Rupert Murdoch being a born again Christian, he takes the day off and so we get his little gem:
The Sunday Times noted the poignancy of playing "Nessun Dorma," a tribute to Luciano Pavarotti, before the game. The song may mean "none shall sleep," the paper joked, but falling asleep "is always a temptation when Israel, with their preoccupation with defense, are playing."Or was this typical Times pandering to Israel's "defence" agenda? I wonder....