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What’s important now…
I think the most important thing for England fans now is for us to all abuse the players and management as much as is humanly possible to ensure that the next time England find themselves in a similar situation they will freeze again knowing what’s in store for them after the game.
How sh*t was that?
It’s nothing to do with population – because if it was, India and China would contest every World Cup Final…
It’s nothing to do with money – because of it was, the MLS or Russian League would just get billions pumped into it if it was that simple…
And it’s nothing to do with “pashun” – because Robbie Brady making his grown brother cry would carry Ireland through to the final everytime…
We are just not good enough. We have a mental fragility when faced with adversity, whether it be during a game or penalties. And our technique is non existent.
Rooney hasn’t looked decent since 2004 on the international stage…and the game only really changed when Rashford came on.
I should hate him, with him being a scummy Manc, but I love him. But I worry that what makes him brilliant will be trained by our poor coaching or beaten out of him by the media.
And people calling for Roy’s head… Who would you like to replace him? ‘Arry? Fat Sam? Sherwood? Maybe Roy is the best we’ve got.
Eddie Howe looks decent but has had one season in a top league and Southgate has done amazingly with the U21s but I fear he would be on a hiding to nothing such would be the press and public opinion.
Kane was woeful, I don’t care what type of season he had with Spuds – he was w**k this entire tournament.
Sturridge played a few nice touches but reverted to being selfish when the play wasn’t going his way.
Alli looked like a deer on the headlights, needed the experience players to give him a talking to but it never happened.
Walker started off well then dropped off a cliff.
I lost count of the amount of time that an England player has the ball and had one or no options to pass to…Watch Germany and Kroos gets the ball and he has 3-4 options always…
We need to address our national team, top to bottom, do what Germany did after Euro 2000 and make the changes required to get the players technique to the correct level.
Just shocked, it’s the worst I’ve ever seen us play…We were better when we got shagged 4-1 by Germany is 2010?
Jon (sort it out FA) Andrews
That was hilariously sh*t
Some immediate (and probably not all that coherent) thoughts after that incredible sh*t shower:
– I’m still laughing.
– Rooney was unfathomably poor.
– No plans on set-pieces.
– Kane. Oh my god. Just….awful.
– Rashford came on far too late.
– Hart thinks he’s far better than he really is.
– Still laughing.
– Glenn Hoddle is being paid thousands of pounds for the drivel he serves up.
– Actually, ITV can sod off too (22% win rate on ITV, 58% on the Beeb).
– Most of the players looked utterly petrified.
– I’ll miss Roy, but only because he looks like a friendly owl. He couldn’t organise a cutlery drawer.
– Gareth Southgate is leading the odds to take the reins. No.
– Danny Baker’s Twitter timeline has been something to behold this evening.
– Roy must have had that statement stuffed down his sock. No way did he write that in five mins.
– I imagine the mailbox might get a little…shouty.
– We’re really nailing it as a country right now.
– Yep. Still laughing.
Ok mailbox – over to you. Do your best/worst.
Robbo Robson (Stick a Bjork in me, I’m done).
I could say we need better players, we need a better manager, we need more luck or the players should sing that god awful non-English anthem with more ‘passion’.
The truth is they mentally can’t deal with tournament football. As it ever was.
Matt, Bognor Regis
Hodgson and the players: Sh*t
Well, that was about the most typical England performance you could ever hope to see. I’m not going to do 16 conclusions because there really is only one you can make: England are probably the worst team to have played in this tournament – and by a distance. The only thing you can do at this point is to take stock of the embarrassment and try to identify what went wrong. There are two key areas, in my opinion:
1. Roy Hodgson. Qualifying for tournaments is irrelevant; it’s the very minimum expected, so it doesn’t matter how well we do it – winning every game counts for nothing in the grand scheme of things. The FA picked him not because they thought he was the best man for the job, more because he was a safe option, being English and quite well-respected in football. But he has failed on every level at every tournament for which he has been the manager.
The tactics, team selections and squad selection were all incredibly bad. Every big decision he made was wrong. He insisted on playing a system that required two wide players and then took only two wide players – one of whom was in abysmal form, the other with abysmal fitness. He took six strikers and then insisted on playing a system that only had room for one. He persisted with Harry Kane taking set pieces, he persisted with Joe Hart in goal, he persisted with the same tactics and team that achieved the square root of eff all time after time. He can persist off.
2. The players themselves. While you can’t really blame players for being sh*t, there is no doubt that almost every one of them absolutely is, when compared to any half-decent national side. Where the blame for this lies is the architecture of English football; we fail our young players on almost every level, giving them neither the right training nor the education to fulfil their potential. Look at La Masia; football is such a small part of the students’ training – education is placed in equal, if not greater, emphasis.
This failure to effectively prepare, nurture and train our players has never been more evident than in the 80 minutes for which we trailed to a country with a fraction of the population and resources available to England; not one of our players had any idea whatsoever how to unlock a defence using the most basic (but effective) footballing tactics possible. Instead, we place the emphasis on effort, energy and pride; three things that will not win you a football match on their own – you need to have the right tactics, intelligence and ability to be successful and they, unfortunately, are three areas where we are severely lacking.
You don’t even have to have amazing players to be successful; look at Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Even in defeat, the two Irish teams were so much better than us, because they had the proper preparation and application; they pick the right players for the system, rather than trying to crowbar in the ‘best’ players on reputation alone.
The above two points are, in my opinion, the reason why we are out of the tournament. The hilarious thing about it is that, despite what Mark Pougatch and Clive Tyldsley would have you believe, this was not even remotely surprising; this was classic England and we got what we thoroughly deserved. Embarrassed. I just feel for the fans that wasted their time going out there to watch this shower of sh*te.
…England players have no composure, poor technique, and almost zero mental strength.
And they were managed by a man clearly incapable of getting the best out of the talent that was available to him. Roy’s England won just three games at tournaments…crikey that’s bad.
It could have been so much better.
…That is why we can never just relax and have fun watching England. There’s always one of those just round the corner.
There isn’t enough space on the Internet to rant about how shit each and every one of those players was tonight. But in terms of incompetence Roy was out there in a field of his own.
Rooney giving the worst performance that any so-called professional footballer has ever had the temerity to give, so you take off Dier. Kane, being bullied and running through treacle, gets 90. Vardy comes on with Iceland camped on their 18 yard line leaving no space for him, and – this’ll shock you – he doesn’t get a touch. Finally Rashford on so we have all the strikers and no one in midfield to supply them.
Result: A brainless, shapeless side with no semblance of a coherent tactical approach turning in one of the most embarrassing performances in English football history. I generally try to avoid this sort of armchair hindsightry, but it all just seems so f**king obvious.
Hodgson is said to make bad players average, but good players average too. On this occasion he couldn’t even manage that. Time to go, and thanks for nothing.
Credit to Iceland, they played well and will give France a better game than we ever could.
JG LFC (why do we ever let ourselves expect better?)
Hodgson and the FA: Sh*t
This started as a Facebook status but then got carried away.
No structure, no method, no ideas.
A guy who’s played striker for 10 years playing in midfield who can barely make a ten-yard pass (don’t care if he picks out a right back 20 times a game).
An in-form, deadly finisher playing right wing and getting frustrated.
A manager sending out a team that has no plan A or plan B and has no ability whatsoever to give his players confidence. Still guessing after four years.
Barely a formation second half. I can only describe it as a 42112. What the flying f**k.
Iceland, Hungary, Italy all showing themselves to be more than sum of their parts.
Stop cramming names into a team and build a system where people know what they’re doing and know they can do it. Who cares who plays?! Make sure they can play an actual role and it makes sense. Giacherini is sh*t for Sunderland! Awful! But he works in Conte’s system.
Never been angrier at a manager and an association. We blame the setup and managers for club failings yet we always blame the players at international level.
Obviously there’s some middle ground but there needs to be a massive rethinking of the culture, the system behind the scenes and the calibre of coach we look for. International management is about getting the footballing basics right, inducing pride and having an identity. The current version of the FA can f*** off. Roy can get out. No questions, sure.
Tottenham players: Sh*t
Who’d have thought, after watching the back end of last season, that all those Spurs players would turn into complete sh*te at the first sign of any pressure? Danny Drinkwater and Marc Albrighton must be wondering how the hell they didn’t get into that squad, let alone the team.
Geoff (LCFC, obviously, because who would think that key players from England’s champions might have something more to offer than that useless bunch of Big Club tits?)
All the England players: Sh*t
OK Rashford also played well. Can’t just blame Hodgson, those players were abject, appalling, s***, pathetic, toothless, s***, s*** s***.
Rob A (thank god for our rugby team…) AFC
…Seriously. Just f**k off! What a f***ing shambles, what a f****** disaster. Roy and his bunch of clueless rovers should hang their heads in shame.
Rashford posed a bigger threat in five mins than the entire bunch did in 85. Says it all. Bunch of jokers. Oh, and Rooney should do a Messi and announce his international retirement. Cannot staunchly support him anymore.
Well played Iceland. You truly deserved it and may you go far.
Rahber (dejected and disgusted) India
…So Hodgson is finally gone, he shouldn’t be the only one. This squad needs a massive overhaul, the underachievers and just frankly bad footballers need to be dropped and in the case of the older ones, just retire.
Dele Alli has offered nothing, absolutely nothing in three and a half games for England. Maybe the biggest letdown in a big tournament ever? He was hyped up so much by the media and the fans yet did approximately nothing to live up to that hype. I for one never bought the hype but many did. Wilshere is streets ahead of him, Milner is streets ahead of him, Barkley is a lot better than him, Henderson is better than him. All four have showed for England and for their clubs that they can play in a 433 and Wilshere, Milner and Henderson have showed they can perform well in top competitions. Alli cannot play as a centre mid, even the likes of Shelvey, Noble and Drinkwater are better than him there. He needs to be dropped from the starting 11 and if we are not playing an attacking mid he needs to be dropped from the squad completely.
Rooney needs to retire from international football, he is an awful centre mid and a sub-par striker. We have three strikers in the squad better than him and four midfielders. That’s without the likes of Defoe and Deeney who are both miles more effective than him. Cahill and Hart both should retire as England players in my opinion, they are both clearly past their best and there are better players waiting in the wings to replace them. Butland and Stones aren’t exactly Neuer and Boateng but they’re a hell of a lot better than Cahill and Hart.
Kane and Sterling are talented players, unlike Alli they’ve proved that for England more than once, and they’ve proved that for their clubs. But it’s time to give other players a chance in the first 11, Kane and Sterling have had their time to shine and they’ve let themselves down. It won’t hurt the team to give players like Antonio and Rashford a few games, I would happily accept Redmond starting for England if he starts his season at Southampton well. We just need players who want to play for England and whose confidence hasn’t been shot to nothing by the media like Sterling’s has and no doubt Kane’s will be.
We need a lot of new blood and we need a manager who isn’t spineless and will actually drop under performing players. The fact Rooney played a part in every game shows what a coward Hodgson is and why we were so painfully average in all four games. If we keep the dead wood in the team no manager will be able to get anything out of this squad, we need a clear-out.
Matt, England fan
Does Joe Hart really sing God save the Queen before these matches?
If he does, then the Queen should be worried, because he doesn’t save too much. In fact, he doesn’t save anything.
Gary B (Popcorn at the ready to read all the backlash!)
…Didi Hamann summed it up nicely.
“Every night that these England players go to bed, they should light a candle in thanks for the money they earn because they are bang average, the Premier League is a fraud.”
Perfect example of this is Joe Hart.
Guaranteed Pep Guardiola will be buying a new ‘keeper.
Eoin (Roy will be crucified but I blame his players) Ireland
Rooney has just been substituted and couldn’t even pass his f***ing armband without losing control of it. What a load of shyte.
…Can we all agree now that Rooney isn’t an international midfielder?
Rooney and Hodgson: Sh*t
Wow. I’m not exactly sure what I have just witnessed. The lack of ability in the England team to do anything with pace or precision is remarkable given their cumulative wage and the esteem in which they are held. We didn’t create a single chance bar the penalty. Rooney is f**king bilge: awful touch and balance and slows the game down with lofts passes, on the odd occasion they are accurate. Does anyone doubt me now when I say that he should not be a playmaker? He should do the graceful thing and retire right now out of shame. And why oh why was Kane still taking free-kicks? It really was not good enough.
And don’t get me started on the gormless Roy. Did England think it beneath them to make plans for how we might combat the teams we faced in the tournament? Everyone has been talking about the Iceland long throw for days, so what do we do? Concede from the first one. I’m not exactly sure what we have been doing in training. It clearly isn’t team cohesion, practising set-pieces or thinking about tactics.
To be honest, this result also smacks of gross underestimation. I suspect too many players already had one eye on a tie with France. In all honesty, the Iceland team and fans are a much better advert for football than us. Targeted intensity and the ability to make big moments count. I’ve seen better pub teams than England. Perhaps that’s what we should do in 2018: send the Dog and Duck to Russia. They would represent our country with more passion and application.
Sterling, Hart, Kane, Hodgson: Sh*t
A quarter of sixteen conclusions:
– Raheem Sterling has one of the worst cases of the yips I’ve seen in a long time.
– Joe Hart suffered from one of the worst cases of being sh!t this tournament. Two goals his fault, a third he was at fault and he only conceded four.
– Kane should never be allowed to take free-kicks. Ever.
– Jamie Vardy is better when teams don’t have a lead and are not defending deep. Wait, we all knew that already. Other than Roy clearly.
Ismail (disappointed but not surprised) Laher
Rooney, Hart, Cahill, Dier, Kane: Sh*t
Well. Well, well well. Rooney didn’t have a great game did he!
In fairness, his first half passing was sharp and incisive, but it certainly ‘tapered off’ let’s say. He was clearly trying to force the game, because someone had to try. It certainly wasn’t helped by the incredibly static performance, no one moving for the person on the ball. Like, ever. But still, some bad passes and – worse – letting Kane waste set pieces.
And in spite of him not playing well, he wasn’t even in the worst five of the team.
Hart was obviously the worst. I mean, he shouldn’t play for England any more. Full stop. Cahill was pretty crappy too, always looking liable to a brain fart. Dier was wasteful in possession and not keeping his player in his pocket; harsh maybe but we needed one thing from him and he didn’t do it. Kane, was basically pointless. More bad set pieces, more bad shots, no pace or energy. I have to include Alli, who buzzed around being a bit :/ all over the pitch.
Not his fault but what was Sturridge doing out on the wing? I mean, best finisher available, being out wide where he can’t actually use his strengths. Utterly wasted.
Sterling was lively and dangerous, though a long way from perfect with failed tricks. So of course we removed him for someone who needs the space that wasn’t available.
Finally, why did we wait for so long to bring Rashford on? Look at the danger he caused in his eight minutes.
Just… honestly, why do we bother ever hoping.
OK That was appalling, but question for everyone. If you could choose one player from England’s recent history to play in that team who would it be? My guess is that it would be Rio, or Terry, or Ledley or maybe even Sol (although he wanted us out of Europe). Anyway the point is we are so lacking in the centre of defence it’s not funny. Stones could be the future but to play alongside who. Iceland find players from Charlton, maybe we could go shopping elsewhere too. Until we find a real dominating defender we’ll always have that fluffy soft belly that will ultimately fail.
Back in Europe in two years right?
Italy’s resolute defence.
All three faced greater tests than Iceland in the last 16 and showed the sort of character, preparation and discipline both expected and demanded of a good side. Each side either completely nullified an inferior opponent, retrieved a dire situation or shut down a top-class opponent.
Yet, here are England capitulating to the plucky, workmanlike, inspired and passionate Iceland.
Simply, Roy had to go. No surprise he fell on his sword. It’s not even admirable that he made the decision. He’s the very embodiment of the national team’s shortcomings. Out of ideas, old and of another era. But who replaces him? Coaching and player development is a generation behind everyone else; probably two generations behind the best.
England have this uncanny knack of making their opposition look better. Tactically and technically it’s like watching the local under-15s take on the World Champions, no matter the quality of opposition.
Any surprise Kyle Walker lost his man for their first goal? No, he’s not international quality.
Rashford, the most pacy, direct and demonstratably dangerous player on the pitch was given 5 minutes and 2-3 chances to make a difference. Not half an hour. Not forty-five minutes.
The FA’s next decision is, frankly, enormous. Young (well, young-ish), successful, someone exposed to 21st century football… Just one of those three would be a better start than Hodgson.
…I’ll preface this by saying I’ve defended Roy for years and didn’t blame him for Brazil 2014. On the one hand it’s harsh to blame Hodgson too much when he wasn’t to blame for either goal. Walker lost his marker on the first, Dier was inexplicably moving in slow motion on the eventual winner and obviously Hart committed a howler.
On the other hand:
– Sterling over Lallana? Based on what? Inexplicable.
– Wilshere? F*%cking Wilshere? Again, what has he shown to earn such faith? Ian Darke was spot on when he said he was match fit but there’s no way he was match sharp.
– That was Rooney’s worst-ever performance in an England shirt by a comfortable margin. He should have been hauled off and Rashford should have been put on earlier. That was clear to everyone but Roy. Unforgivable.
– Harry Kane taking free-kicks. What the f*&cking f&*k??
– Finally, a broader point. A manager has three jobs. Player selection, team tactics, player motivation. Jogi Low and Del Bosque are great with selection and tactics while neither needs to be a great motivator with the natural talent and leaders in their squad. Deschamps and Wilmots aren’t great tacticians but they’re proven leaders and motivators. Conte is all of the above. What is Roy? He falls more into the Low/Del Bosque style but he doesn’t have the same level of leadership or talent at his disposal. England don’t have natural leaders on the field, not a single one, and when things went wrong they went into a catatonic state. We often talk about teams being a reflection of their manager and that tragically rang true today. Of course England froze in the big moment again. Their manager is a man who took 15 full minutes to decide whether to bring on Rashford. Some will point to the Wales game and say, well, they didn’t buckle under the pressure there. That’s because there wasn’t any pressure! It was the group stages and they already had one point sewn up.
If we’re being honest with ourselves England haven’t had a true motivator of men, a man to instill belief – the kind of irrational and unshakable belief you need to succeed at this level – since…Sir Bobby Robson? Capello was getting there before the FA screwed things up. We always knew what Roy was. We hoped he’d be good enough with his preparation, his tactics and selection, that we wouldn’t be in a backs against the wall situation. And we knew, deep down, that if it did happen Roy was never going to be up to the task of dragging us back from the brink.
Vishnu, New York
Hodgson: Sh*t. And now for Howe…
I’m not sure if F365 have any Icelandic readers, but congratulations none the less. Fully deserved. England were devoid of ideas, creativity, talent and quality.
I’ve been a defender of Roy Hodgson, but he had let himself down today and in the competition as a whole. There was no desire, leadership, cohesion or depth to this England performance. There was no tactical brilliance, and his substitutions did nothing to change the game. If anything, they made us worse. We lost all shape, and resorted to shots from 35 yards out that never came near the threatening the Iceland net.
On the ball, England were abject. Off the ball, Iceland threatened whenever they got the ball into the final third.
Even on set-pieces, long been England’s savior in tournaments past, were beyond dreadful, optimised by Harry Kane nearly hitting the corner flag with a free kick 35 yards out.
England need to bring in a manager that can take a moderately talented squad and play to their strengths. My vote goes to Eddie Howe. He has taken a team constantly tipped for failure at every level into the Premier League, and fairly comfortable survival.
It can’t get worse than this. Surely?
James ‘Flash’ Hamilton
ITV: Makes us sh*t
You can blame it on Hodgson, you can blame it on the FA, you can blame it on the players, but the real reason England lost is simple: the game was on ITV.
Time and time again England win when the match is on the BBC and they fail to win when it’s on ITV. Take this tournament for example. One game on Auntie, one win. ITV have three games: two draws and one defeat.
It’s in the nation’s best interest to show all future games on the Beeb to ensure England’s progression on ITV. Plus we wouldn’t have to listen to Glenn Hoddle anymore. It’s win-win.
John (I’d pay double the licence fee not to hear Glenn Hoddle) Porter