Two years later, the same problems haunt England.
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on July 5, 2016
In 2014 England had one of the most embarrassing tournaments in recent history; they were knocked out of the World Cup without winning a single game. The managed just two goals and looked like a team who’d never played with each other before. Forget the bad luck. Individual errors and poor management cost England massively, and two years later the same problem strikes.
June 28th and it is time to pack away the flags, after two weeks of boring football it is now time for the England boys to fly home. Iceland should be proud; they made history in their 2-1 victory against England and are playing as a team of warriors and not individuals. They have managed to do the unthinkable and knocked out an England side full of talent. They have certainly proved the doubters wrong and made Cristiano Ronaldo eat his humble pie after he branded Iceland to have a “Small mentality”.
Utter humiliation, only way to describe England’s exit.
Roy Hodgson introduced the next generation in recent months. He has been lucky to include the raw talents of Marcus Rashford, Dele Alli and surprise emergence of Eric Dier whilst keeping the experienced Gary Cahill, Joe Hart and captain Wayne Rooney.
As always, the England supporters had high hopes for the tournament, impressive displays Pre-Euros saw England come back from 2-0 down to beat world champions Germany 3-2, we saw England swipe aside France with a 2-0 victory and a delightful Dele Alli strike.
England were playing as a team, were playing very good football and playing without fear. They were fighting for each other, there was a real feel good factor about the England squad and the players seemed in good spirits ahead of the Euros.
The next generation, Hodgson was very bold in his selection and included Marcus Rashford instead of the experienced Theo Walcott, and deservedly so, he was a real surprise package in his debut season, Dele Alli was also included which was a no brainer and Hodgson once again went against the odds and included the injury struck midfielder Jack Wilshere.
Although Hodgson is tactically outdated, the squad have really let him and the country down, they had a chance to showcase to the world the next generation are serious, they had a chance to put England back on the sporting map, but instead embarrassed themselves in the process.
Where did it all go wrong?
A disastrous start to the tournament saw us draw with Russia, conceding a last minute equaliser that started off our short tournament, the warnings were already there and defensive frailness cost us straight away. A last minute winner to have bragging rights over Wales was probably highlight of the tournament, a Daniel Sturridge near post finish saw the fans explode into life with real hope.
The hope was taken to extremes, football pundit and former England international Gary Lineker tweeted “The way England have started it’s hard to see us not winning this tournament” how wrong was he to be.
England fans once again become naïve after having little hope, England drew 0-0 with Slovakia to put us behind Wale’s in the group, and we really did fail to break them down, the same team went on to lose 4-0 to Germany and are lucky they didn’t hit double figures.
The last game and the most embarrassing, England went 1-0 up within minutes after a beautiful ball by Daniel Sturridge saw Raheem Sterling taken down in the box, Rooney then converted the penalty to put the three lions on course for a win. But, minutes later Iceland shushed the stadium after scoring an equalizer, a long throw completely tarnished our defence and Sigurdsson scored an easy tap in.
Iceland then scored the second goal shortly after; a faint shot from Sigthorsson could only see Joe hart get fingertips onto the winning goal, with real question marks over his goalkeeping.
England didn’t threat much after, a couple half chances and an acrobatic volley from Kane saw the Iceland keeper produce a fine save.
Eric Dier was arguably England’s best player at the Euros, he had to come off at Half Time as England needed to attack, Wilshere come in and tried to string the passes together but England looked completely lost.
England captain Wayne Rooney was substituted before the end after one of the worst performances at international level seen, our captain and leader couldn’t pass a ball five yards let alone save us from being knocked out.
After the final whistle blew, and boos rung around the Stade de Nice, Roy Hodgson publicly resigned which was the only thing he’s done right in his England reign. He managed to stay with England for four years, and I was personally surprised he wasn’t sacked after the shambolic World Cup in 2014.
Players sunk to their knees in front of a shocked crowd, they looked close to tears and their manager decided to head straight down the tunnel instead of consoling his players.
Players laid there in disbelief and had to look around a stadium with loud chants of “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” string around, with Iceland fans joining in celebrations with their excellent support.
Hodgson doesn’t leave a legend; he has done next to nothing to be remembered as the England coach apart from capping off one of England’s biggest sporting failures.
He had to go; his inability to adapt to today’s game, his outdated tactics, his stubbornness to drop players out of form, his measly decision making each game has cost England once again at a major tournament. Of course there was an element of sadness as he told the world he was leaving, but it was for the best and hopefully England can now move forward.
Individual errors, substitutions, structural flaws and team selection: this has all once again played a part in another England tournament disappointment.
Hodgson oversaw England’s worst World Cup campaign two years ago and somehow kept his job. More embarrassment was on the cards though; Hodgson has now suffered England’s worst result since the loss to the USA in the 1950 World Cup. With the squad he had for the Euros he had no excuses, the Iceland defeat could probably tarnish the 1950 result and be the worst ever in England’s history.
Hats off to Iceland, they’re the smallest nation to ever reach the Euro’s and they have shocked the world with their 330,000 population.
They thoroughly deserved to go through and have achieved the biggest miracle of Euro 2016 thus far.
England really had a chance to have a real go this summer. Spain have already been knocked out which is a massive shock to the world, one of the favourites not making the quarter-finals is bad enough but they lost to a very stubborn Italy side who looked destined to reach the final but come unstuck against a very good Germany side.
Italy have decent players but not the best, they were missing their best midfielder Marco Verratti but still dominated Europe’s best Andres Iniesta. Conte coaches them brilliantly and has the whole team perfectly drilled and it works. “A tactical massacre” saw them beat off a very dull looking Spain. Everything about this is why England failed.
The same man that led England to a World Cup to forget, also led us to the Euros this summer with the same problems occurring.
Hodgson is 68 years-old and his view of the game is painfully outdated. Unfortunately, he was exposed on the biggest stage of them all once again, he is tactically inept and it cost England massively.
It’s like Hodgson didn’t know his best team and best formation, this turned out to play divalent in England’s failure.
England included Ross Barkley in the final 23 squad for France and he didn’t get a single minute. Instead, when England were desperate for a goal they shoved four strikers on and even had Gary Cahill upfront trying to create something.
The problem was they lacked creativity and Ross Barkley will feel bitterly disappointed not to play a single minute, he has been very good for Everton and is able to shoot / create chances something England desperately lacked.
So questions have to be asked by the manager why wasn’t he subbed on to help make a difference.
The formation has to be questioned, it’s like Hodgson picked a team to accommodate Wayne Rooney and not in fact play the best suited team.
Hodgson decided to play a 4-3-3 formation against Iceland and the players on the pitch were better than each of their opposition, but this formation needed actual wingers. England had Daniel Sturridge, a born goal scorer collecting the ball at Right Back and having to cover Kyle Walker, straight away you can see where the problem is.
If Hodgson wanted to play a formation that needed wingers, why hasn’t he selected Theo Walcott or Andros Townsend? The only out and out winger we had was Raheem Sterling, who I thought was the scapegoat to England’s failure.
England tried to use Harry Kane as a target man at times and it failed dramatically, Olivier Giroud is exactly that for France the same as Mario Gomez is for Germany. If England wanted to result in playing the long ball why wasn’t Andy Carroll selected? A real nightmare for defenders, instead we had our Centre-back Gary Cahill trying to get in the box which left us exposed at the back and led to an Iceland counter attack, luckily Jack Wilshere was able to do enough to prevent them scoring.
England once again crumbled, the pressure has won again. However, Iceland played with heart and determination, they knew England had better individuals but that is nothing compared to a team, Yes they lost 5-2 to France in the Quarterfinals but they still showed more heart and determination than the pathetic England displays.
England are well known for overrating players and claiming each individual are world class, they are not and are completely wrong and this myth needs to stop.
Added pressure will always arise with the term world class, and it is something our players have once again crumbled to.
Hodgson done the right thing resigning, the players now will have a month off before joining pre-season and id think they’re bitterly disappointed.
Hodgson is not to take all the blame, gutless and toothless performances from the players let the manager down.
Reports suggest the FA coaching circles see this current crop of players the most gifted England squad in years, they’re right, technically this squad is spot on but needs the right coaching.
As for the future? England should look at Eddie Howe. The young English manager will bring fresh ideas to the squad, he is only 38 years-old and is not outdated on obvious tactics and won’t let his stubbornness pick his quad, which unfortunately our former manager let happen.