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Hox in the Box: Enough to put you off your crisps...
So England hoofed their way to a goalless draw in the Ukraine - who saw that coming, eh? How bad was it? Well, terrible is the answer. Really terrible. It was enought to put you off your crisps.
But away from Kiev all the talk this week has been focussed around a perceived lack of interest in the national team from the country's leading clubs. It's been a tough week for the ex Fulham and West Brom manager who has seen an already-threadbare squad decimated by injuries - especially to his forward line.
Recent comments by Ray Wilkins apparently attacking the current crop of young talent cannot have helped his cause. The more cynical among us will question the timing of Wilkins' statement when Spurs youngster Kyle Walker has recently had to defend himself over photos taken of him 'enjoying' a night out in Sheffield.
The Spurs defender was pictured inhaling a balloon filled with nitrous oxide - laughing gas to you and me.
Now, it's not against the law, but for a sportsman whose job it is to stay fit and healthy enough to play professional football at the highest level at least two times a week, it does seem rather bizarre. You'd think earning in excess of £20,000 a week would give him plenty to laugh about without the need for gas.
But let's explore Wilkins' claims for a moment: have youngsters coming through the ranks at our top clubs over the last few years really fulfilled their potential?
I would suggest not, I would suggest the pit-falls inherent in giving a teenager or young adult more than a million pounds a year in wages are there for all to see. It's not a case of individual failure. The culture within English football is simply mirroring that without it.
If you don't believe me there is no more savage an indictment than the inability of our young footballers to make their mark on the game.
The drink-to-excess culture has, unfortunately, come to defines us as a nation. And if we are really honest with ourselves, it's hardly surprising. If someone had handed me a million pounds at 18 or 19 years-old, I'm not sure professionalism and abstinence would have been high on my agenda either.
But more than that, there seems to be a significant systemic failure on the part of clubs who are so desperate to succeed that nurturing talented players is secondary to immediate success.
Kenny Jackett summed it up when he said that Wolves were not 'responsible' for supplying players to the national team.
Whilst that is painfully obvious given the Midlands club are in League One with not a single player worthy of making the squad, it is not what you want to hear from the manager of a club with lofty ambitions.
I would argue that it is the responsibility of every club in the country to nurture and bring through players with a view to getting them into the national team - that should be the dream for every footballer?
And yet money talks, and in football it shouts and screams; it stamps its feet and holds its breath until it gets what it wants. Often young players are simply collateral damage.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
Ryan Giggs is a prime example. He might be a serial adulterer, but as far as football goes, his conduct has been without reproach.
Giggs was an international footballer at 17, and pin-up for teenage girls the world over, but was kept grounded by his club. Sir Alex famously gate-crashed a party he and Lee Sharp were hosting - kicking everyone out by the scruff of their necks.
Ferguson also resisted the temptation to hand out a large contract to him until he had truly earned it.
That kind of discipline and steady hand is what is needed going forward, and in a climate of escalating financial despair and international obscurity we, as a football-loving nation, need it sooner rather than later.