Carragher: England players are ‘too soft babies’

Jamie Carragher has branded England’s players “too soft” following their exit from Euro 2016.

Manager Roy Hodgson resigned after the 2-1 defeat to Iceland meant the Three Lions were knocked out of the competition in France.

However, former England and Liverpool defender Carragher believes the players should take their share of the blame.

He told the Daily Mail: “Too soft. The more I think about England’s humiliation against Iceland, the more those two words come into my mind.

“This is what England’s players have become. The Academy Generation – for that is what they are – are soft physically and soft mentally.

“I call them the Academy Generation because they have come through in an era when footballers have never had more time being coached. At this point I want to make it clear I am not pointing the finger at academy coaches, as others will do.

“But they get ferried to football schools, they work on immaculate pitches, play in pristine training gear every day and everything is done to ensure all they have to do is focus on football. We think we are making them men but actually we are creating babies.

“We saw the end result in all its gruesome detail in Nice on Monday when another major tournament ended in calamity and blame.

“Roy Hodgson, inevitably, carries the can. There was no way he could continue as England manager after the results and performances at Euro 2016 and he cannot escape the spotlight – but don’t for one moment think the players should escape liability.

“It never is the players’ fault when England crash out of a competition, is it? Well, it’s time to explode that myth.

“I was in South Africa in 2010. I heard all the complaints about Fabio Capello and his strict methods and all the grumblings about the base where we stayed in Sun City being too isolated. Do you know the truth? The complaints were bulls**t. We came home early because we were not good enough.

“England deserved to go out then, just as we deserved to go out here. That weakness that runs through England squads is only getting worse and I was enraged by the way that team disintegrated when the stakes were rising.

“I call some of the squad, I don’t believe it applies to the full group, too soft. It’s always someone else’s fault when they don’t produce – the coach picked the wrong team, someone played the wrong pass – so when I heard suggestions the senior players were unhappy with Hodgson’s training, I was incensed.

“Why won’t they take responsibility? They live lives now with personal assistants, player liaison officers, nannies and agents organising every little detail for them. Some wouldn’t even know how to book a holiday or an appointment at the dentist for themselves.

“It strips character. You can see that in the interviews they give…there really is no point in watching them, as they are afraid of saying anything.”