Denmark 4-1 England: 2005 Friendly Was The Beginning Of The End For Sven-Göran Eriksson (VIDEO)

Denmark 4-1 England: The Beginning Of The End For Eriksson (VIDEO)

The August friendly will no longer be staged from this year, but Sven-Göran Eriksson might have wished that decision was made 10 years earlier. England's humiliating 4-1 defeat to Denmark in 2005 should have been an inconsequential blip for the Swede, who was about to guide the national team to a second successive World Cup. Instead, it was the beginning of the end for him and the Three Lions.

Dennis Rommedahl, Jon-Dahl Tomasson, Michael Gravgaard and Soren Larsen's goals contributed to the worst England result in 25 years. David James, whose selection for the 2010 World Cup is perhaps the nadir of England mediocrity this century, was comically calamitous in Copenhagen. He emerged as a second-half substitute with the scoreline goalless and was culpable for three of the Danish goals.

Friendlies were rarely Eriksson's forte. He became a pioneer of the maximum substitutions rule which rendered the exhibition encounters redundant, although he made just six at the Parken Stadion.

Eriksson watches on as England lose in Denmark back in 2005

However, the following month England scrappily defeated Wales in Cardiff and embarrassingly lost to Northern Ireland in Belfast. David Beckham was moved into the Andrea Pirlo role in a desperate and fruitless attempt to accommodate him and the upcoming Shaun Wright-Phillips. Wright-Phillips' career never recovered after that night.

Qualification for Germany 2006 was never in peril, thanks to wins over Austria and Poland in October, but Eriksson was verging on persona non grata and he fulfilled that status in January 2006. The fake Sheikh sting finally compelled him to end his five-year stint as England coach, but only after the World Cup.

With Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen both injured, Eriksson still selected them and 17-year-old Theo Walcott in his squad, alongside the profligate Peter Crouch. It could hardly have gone worse.

Owen ruptured his cruciate ligament in the group game with Sweden, Rooney was sent off in the quarter-final against Portugal, Crouch struggled as the lone striker and Walcott didn't get a kick. Out in the last eight again.

Soccer - International Friendly - Denmark v England - Parken Stadium

Denmark 4-1 England, 2005


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