Losing that game to Croatia was the best thing that could have happened to English football.
Just look at the state of the players Steve McClown would have been taking to Euro 2008.
Wayne Rooney is injured (again), while his replacement Carlos Tevez is showing him up with vastly superior performances.
Fellow striker Michael Owen has at least been playing, but his recent form deserted him against Chelsea yesterday.
The self-proclaimed "still world-class" Owen missed four more-than-presentable chances at St James's and ED reckons he is approximately 17 minutes away from his next injury - probably a hamstring this time.
Frank Lampard has obviously had a tough time recently and yesterday had to sit on the bench while Michael Ballack kept Chelsea in the title race with another vital goal.
Alongside him was Joe Cole, curiously dissed by Avram Grant and left out in favour of the streaky Florent Malouda.
There was no sign at all of Shaun Wright-Phillips, nor has there been for some weeks. ED is starting to get worried, and thinks Chelsea should put out an announcement on their Tannoy system:
"Would the small child with the diamond-encrusted Rolex please make himself known to a member of staff."
Ashley Cole was also left out of the squad altogether and had a free Bank Holiday Monday, although tragically he didn't indulge in a traditional all-day drinking session at his local boozer.
He is still battling his way out of the dog house after recent alleged indiscretions, while wife Cheryl weighs up a host of alternative propositions.
Ashley knows a thing or two about stringing one suitor along while scanning the field for better offers, having dumped Arsenal and their p***-taking £55,000-a-week to join Chelsea.
He can only hope Cheryl is not also pictured secretly meeting Jose Mourinho in an exclusive London hotel, as there would be only one winner in that tug-of-love.
For the moment, Cheryl must make do with the affections of grammatically-impaired Black Eyed Peas star Will.i.am (middle name Ivanhoe, like Emile Heskey) and a load of women.
Having recorded some godawful song with Girls Aloud, .i.am said: "If Cheryl was single, hell yeah! She'd just have to holler. I saw her a few days ago. She's doing good - she was looking hot."
Last month, Cheryl was voted as the top lesbian icon in a poll, romping to victory with 43 percent of the vote when lesbians were asked to name their dream WAG.
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After watching Arsenal win the women's FA Cup yesterday, Early Doors has concluded that football, like the Yorkie bar (but not Cheryl Cole), is not for girls.
What exactly is the appeal of ladies' football? The players are slower, weaker and less skilful and the league is even less competitive than the men's one.
And the goalkeeping makes those hapless blokes from the African Cup of Nations look like 16 Dino Zoffs.
Arsenal clinched their third Double in a row after scooping their fifth straight league title with a record of 20 wins and a draw from 21 games.
It is not like tennis, where the less powerful hitting makes the game better to watch, or beach volleyball, where the maximum bikini size requirements (no, really) keep things interesting.
Still, it is good to know FIFA have a masterplan to promote the game. Here's ED punch bag Sepp Blatter: "Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts. Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so ..."
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "This league is in danger of becoming one of the most boring but great leagues in the world. The top four will be the same again next year. What I can say to the fans is that we will be trying to get fifth and win the other league that is going on in the Premier League. We are a million miles away though." Kevin Keegan on the "boring but great" spectacle of English football.
FAN OF THE DAY: David Witthoft, a Green Bay Packers American Football fan who wore his Brett Favre shirt every day for four years but has now removed it following Favre's retirement.
Newcastle frequently and preposterously claim to have the best fans in the world, but you don't see similar acts of devotion from the Geordie faithful.
Of course, the equivalent would not be wearing a replica shirt every day, which plenty of people round Early Doors's way do anyway, but rather turning up to work topless with just an Alan Shearer tattoo and a beer gut to preserve your modesty.
FOREIGN VIEW: It's a while since we had a transfer rumour from Corriere dello Sport. It is obviously Premier League midfielder week in Italy, with Juventus set to splash £14 million on Xabi Alonso following Milan's capture of Mathieu Flamini for nowt.
TALKING POINT: First of all, a joke from sav46e: "What's the first sign of madness? Suggs walking up your driveway."
Next, you can actually see the moment in this post when chrisnewman950's excitement fades and he realises Stoke are the new Derby: "I no longer care about lower league football now that the mighty, mighty Potters are strutting their stuff in the Premiership. You Big Four fans won't know what's hit you when we unleash big Mama Sidibe (imagine Drogba with no touch, no technique and no simulation ability) and Ricardo Fuller (pathologically unable to pass) on you. Watching us struggle to dispatch a very ordinary Leicester side I was struck by the chilling thought that there will soon be two divisions between us and that we are no where near good enough for that."
Finally: "I suspect ED is a staunch fan of the meat club (Spartak Moscow), secretly wishing their club was in Manchester United's position to play Chelsea in the Champions League final; fantasizing the meat players thrashing Chelsea by a record breaking margin including one scored by the meat goal keeper to beat Petr Cech on the other end. Dream on." Well, ED suspects pimpsy10101 had just got home from a Bank Holiday bender when he left that effort at 1am last night.
Today - Is anyone prepared to defend women's football?
COMING UP: Team of the Week was held back a day for the benefit of all the Bank Holiday slackers, so that is coming up shortly. There's also Bundesliga and Coupe de France live later on if you're interested.