England: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Written by David Robinson

With the game vs Iceland now well and truly over, there has been enough time for reflection on the game that saw England crash out of Euro 2016, and the tournament as a whole. One win from the four games is simply not good enough especially when considering the level of opposition put in front of Hodgson’s men. The Three Lions finished 2nd in their group behind Wales with the nation missing the chance to top it following a 0-0 draw with Slovakia. The dismay at that display raised more question going into the knockout stages where England then one better and put in one of the most shambolic displays for the shirt, causing outrage throughout the country. I look at the good, the bad & the ugly from England’s Euro 2016 campaign.

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The Good – Goodbye Roy Hodgson

Following the Iceland defeat, Hodgson announced his resignation from what seemed like a well rehearsed script. If he had planned his team better than his resignation then possibly England could have been looking to go on and challenge at Euro 2016 in what is a very poor standard of competition. Instead England have been held back by inconsistent and bizarre tactics that your average football fan has been mystified at. Without going into too much detail, Hodgson has not kept the same system, used unfit players and played players out of position. While the squad isn’t rich in pure talent, a competent manager can make all the difference for inspiring a team onto better things however England have been halted and left to dry. I understand this is meant to be the good part but it can now be considered good as thankfully Hodgson will no longer be in charge.

However special mentions to Eric Dier and Marcus Rashford for being the shining lights in the tournament as young players, they provide some hope that they become key in the future and that they can handle the occasion.

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credit john parish

The Bad – Premier League transformation

Tactics aside, the players should still take an awful lot of criticism for under performing. The likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli can be the biggest outfield culprits in my eyes. They contributed nothing all tournament which is simply unacceptable when you consider their performances for Spurs over the season. Joe Hart was a catastrophe but joined quite a few who simply didn’t have the invention and/or bottle to take their country forwards. Make no mistake, I do believe some of these players care but there should be no sympathy. Players such as Sterling who earn ridiculous weekly wages are exactly what is wrong with football in this country. It must be sickening for fans to see these uninspiring individuals having payed fortunes to travel and watch their country. Some of these players are capable as shown in the Premier League but they have been exposed hugely in France.

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The Ugly – Iceland

Ugly is an appropriate term, it was grim viewing as England deservedly lost to a nation with a population of roughly 330,000 people. Having gone behind thanks to some horrific defending, England slumped to a 2-1 defeat in which the side never looked like they had what it takes to overturn the deficit. Poor tactics and shambolic performances from England’s most highly rated players all contributed. It was an embarrassing way to go out of the tournament. Young Marcus Rashford came on for just five or so minutes and contributed more than some players had contributed all tournament, let alone the game highlighting the lack of ideas from on and off the pitch but worryingly the lack of mental strength between the players. The players were panicking that a humiliating defeat was on the cards but there was no action to resolve the problem. England had a glorious chance to progress to the Quarter-Finals but blew it big time.

What went wrong for England? Let us know in the comments below!