It's a sad admission of defeat by someone as senior as the Home Secretary to suggest the only way to soccer success is to scrap the England team in favour of a stronger Great Britain squad.

As if it were not bad enough that we have to appoint a Swede to steer us to international success in our national game, now Jack Straw says England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should combine to form a United Kingdom XI so that we might win the odd match.

If that fails, will he then suggest we create a European team against the world, and then a Northern Hemisphere squad against the bottom half of the globe?

And will he then adopt such tactics in his proper job, asking Interpol to police our streets if his British bobbies find they are not winning many fixtures?