Where did it all go wrong for England, and where now?
Critics cannot decide who is at fault for England's latest World Cup debacle
England's World Cup is all but over after defeat to Uruguay, and despite the low key build-up and lack of expectations the "anguish felt as raw as ever", says Matt Dickinson of The Times. "The new mood of humility did not soften the blow of seeing another England team fall wretchedly short."
This time, he adds, England do not even have the luxury of a scapegoat to blame. The manager did nothing wrong, no one player was at fault for the defeats and England's exit cannot be blamed on the Russian roulette of penalties.
Instead there were issues throughout the team, as the media post mortems prove as they focus on shortcomings in different parts of the England team.
Dickinson gets the ball rolling by looking at England's usually calm goalkeeper. "The vulnerabilities began at the back where Joe Hart was full of jitters, although perhaps any goalkeeper would be terrified when a defence so moderate is faced by the class of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez."
"Nightmarish" and "schoolboyish" was how former England skipper Rio Ferdinand described England's defending against Uruguay on the BBC. Alan Shearer compared it to a Sunday league team.
The back four are slaughtered in the player ratings as well. Gary Cahill earns a seven in the Evening Standard but that is easily the highest mark given to any of them. The most common mark among from the judges in various newspapers and websites is five, Phil Jagielka is even awarded a four by The Independent and the Daily Mirror.
The common concensus is that England's rearguard is not up to international standard.
"Ultimately," says Michael Cox in The Guardian, "England's real problem was the lack of authority in the centre of midfield." With Gerrard and Rooney marked out of the game England lacked guile, he says. "Welbeck, Sterling and Jordan Henderson are highly energetic, quick and tactically disciplined footballers, but not players who can command a game."
There is, agrees, Barney Ronay, also in the Guardian a "frailty in central midfield". And Gerrard must take some of the blame. He had "a horrible match". The idea of replacing him with a younger model does not sound ridiculous any more.
"Maybe it is time for a new England midfield," says BBC pundit Danny Murphy.
"It is perhaps now time to accept, even if he is still England's best player, that Rooney is sufficiently flawed to never quite merit his place among the greats," writes Jeremy Wilson in the Daily Telegraph. He may have scored his first World Cup goal at the tenth attempt, but it was not enough.
Despite that "it was impossible to watch Thursday night's game and conclude that Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge would necessarily provide better options in the short term".
In the final analysis Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez were both far better than their England counterparts.
"England are as good as out of a World Cup after two group games. It is a modern-day football scandal," rages Neil Ashton in the Daily Mail, who believes that Hodgson must pay.
After Euro 2012 the new England boss was given time to rebuild the side, notes Ashton, and he has not done a good job. "We would judge him at the World Cup — and let's not start rewriting history with some baloney about the young players benefiting from tournament experience."
Hodgson started to believed his own hype. "This is a resignation issue," he declares.
The Premier League:
"I'll tell you what the biggest problem is when you think about it all – the Premier League," says former England winger turned BBC pundit, Chris Waddle. "They have a product which they sell around the world. It's entertaining but it's doing our players no good whatsoever." ·