A final qualifier Wembley showdown where only a win is good enough was always going to conjure memories of Steve McClaren’s King Canute with an umbrella impression as his England side bombed out of contention for a Euro 2008 berth with a 2-3 reverse against Croatia.
Luckily Roy Hodgson’s England are better staffed and better prepared than their 2007 incarnation and are well worth betting on for victory against Poland at 11/50.
Despite just one of the 11 starters against Croatia having retired, only three still represent England.
Hindsight is 20/20, but a glance at the subsequent careers of McClaren’s men shows what a poor England side it was, with only Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and to a lesser extent Joleon Lescott still making the line-up regularly.
Beyond that trio few names in the line-up had the class to remain at the highest level for long, with Scott Carson, Wayne Bridge and Shaun Wright-Phillips now plying their trade in the Championship and Joe Cole, Peter Crouch and Micah Richards far from fixtures in their club sides.
Steve McClaren dropped experienced stopper Paul Robinson after an error in his previous match.
The idea that Joe Hart would be replaced after a few high-profile errors was laughed out of town by England sage Hodgson, but McClaren was far less cautious and predictably, if coincidentally disaster ensued.
Rookie custodian Scott Carson fumbled a speculative Niko Kranjcar 30-yarder into his own net to afford the Croats an eighth-minute lead that would set up a famous victory.
Wayne Rooney stands just one international goal short of the combined career total scored by the front three that night.
Cole, Wright-Phillips and Crouch were entrusted with scything down the visitors by McClaren and while the England attack managed to notch twice Hodgson will thank his lucky stars that his side are somewhat better endowed in the goalscoring department.
Between them England’s sure-fire attackers Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge have already scored a combined 21 times in 31 appearances this season.