Where did it all go wrong for England, and where now?

Jun 20, 2014

Critics cannot decide who is at fault for England's latest World Cup debacle

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

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."

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Disqus - noscript

England have no chance of winning anything !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They spend too much time in their own half dont they know that the only way you can win is be in the opponents half and kick the ball in that net.
all they do all game is kick the ball back to their own goalkeeper, WHY if the back or the forward can't kick the ball up the field why are they on the pitch.
i'm a member of an ethnic minority (White English)

As an
Irishman resident in Colombia
I have some insight into both British and Latino cultures and what strikes me
is that the British have no concept of pride or patriotism, at least not like
the Latinos have. Anyone who saw both Colombia
and Chile
could not fail to be impressed by the desire and hunger the teams showed. If you
look at players like Gonzalo Jara and Gary Medel and our own Pablo Armero, none
of them were exactly pulling up trees in the premeiership but with their
country it’s never say die…Add in fans who are truly fanatical (in a good way!!)
about their country and to me that is what Britian lack….Things like Paul Scholes
retiring early from the national team is not something that a Latino player
would do, for them (the Latinos), their country and their family is first, and
their job or club is second

No wonder FIFA and Sepp Blather ignore England,in all honesty they and most of the African nations shouldn't be there,they just aren't good enough.

In all honesty it isn't going to change,all the best club's are owned by foreigners,all the best managers are foreign and all the best players are foreign,English football sold its soul to sky for money and that is what has attracted all the foreigners,that isn't going to change there is to much greed.

England are now too risk-averse at ALL sports - witness the puppy-dog performance by Alastair Cook in the recent Ashes debacle in Australia.

We need passion, we need fire in our bellies, we need to go forward - we need to dump the "elf and safety" mind-set that has pervaded all walks of life in this country, from the school playing fields (if any are left in existence), up through the governing bodies - in short, we need to grow some balls again!

Lets be honest - the entire team was rubbish. Occasional sparks of brilliance from the younger members of the team only highlighted how meagre the rest of the performances were.

For the first game I could honestly say that England played a half decent game and just got beaten by a better side. For the second, I honestly believe the reason it didn't end in a five goal thrashing, is that Uruguay spent the first half an hour thinking 'The must be up to something - they can't be THIS bad, surely?'

Rooney contributed a decent pass in the first game and a goal in the second... and that was pretty much it, because he was otherwise as useless as Gerrard was for the second match (both of them played like they had somewhere better to be). The younger players ran themselves ragged at the front and bumbled around at the back, looking, HOPING that somebody, ANYBODY would take charge and lead the way and create chances that just didn't happen. It was almost like England were there to fill in until the real team turned up.

Running into each other, losing virtually every tackle, giving the ball away easily (great passes to the wrong side) - at some point pretty much every player was guilty of this, and that's the reason England lost a vital match to the national team of a country with a population HALF THE SIZE of that in London.

Much as it pains me to agree with Waddle, he's absolutely spot on - the Premier League generates cash with foreign players and owners at the expense of those eligible for our national side, and until we remedy that we might as well disband the England squad and write it off as an expensive and failing foreign public relations exercise. Who the hell wants to put on the shirt of a country that we hope will draw matches instead of losing them?


Just plain f*cking awful...