As always there was a lot of optimism going into a European Championship.
This time more due to an exciting looking squad, with many young players making the cut.
However, instead of ending the tournament on a positive note looking forward, it ended miserably.
A lack of leadership, several players out of form and a system that just didn’t work.
And to lose to a team such as Iceland who showed their togetherness and fight whilst England showed nothing.
First of all the biggest talking point has been the tactics. It is clear that Roy Hodgson did not know his best team, the right formation or the organisation of his defence.
For me during a championship year the key thing to do is to iron out all the kinks and prepare in the best manner. In the past year however, England have constantly introduced new players, new tactics and tried a variety of formations.
This is not the best preparation for a tournament, as many of the players themselves had to learn the new methods during the tournament.
From September, Hodgson should have began using the same players with the same formation with the occasional addition to the squad in terms of players. Instead he has injected countless players into the squad whilst rotating the team at every given opportunity.
My pet hate with England is that in every friendly almost an entire new squad is introduced, with many players getting around 45 minutes of international football. How are they going to learn to gel? Or iron out the kinks?
In past tournaments everyone new what their roles were within the squad and you could call the starting 11 prior to the tournament. Which didn’t do much for creativeness but it aided the solidarity and organisation of the team.
The likes of Germany, Spain, France play the same team virtually every game, which aids the binding of the team. England are doing it so wrong in comparison.
Another issue is the coaching staff.
In attack players were all over the place. England within the final third of the pitch were poor in every aspect.
When moving the ball, England were too slow from the midfield. When an injection of quick play was needed, it wasn’t provided. Whilst playing out from the back didn’t exactly quicken matters either.
Certainly both issues need to be improved upon if England are going to become an International force as the nation expects.
Now let’s not forget the players. Throughout the tournament many players did not do themselves justice. The five Tottenham players included didn’t exactly do themselves justice after a great season. Dier showed moments of class, such as is strike in the first game. Rooney was one of England best players in many eyes, but they have been more due to the fact that many didn’t think he should be included. For me, he just played like he always does for Manchester United.
Overall, England have these issues because of a number of reasons. This cannot be blamed just on one problem.
Yes the tactics were wrong, yes some players shouldn’t have played as much as they did, yes in the final game the players across the pitch were dismal. But it was a collective matter that brought England down to earth, maybe we shouldn’t have expected so much from them?
It’s always the way that the nation expects but why? We haven’t achieved anything since 1966.
Hopefully a new manager can steady the ship, and introduce some organisation that we really lacked during the tournament. But only time will tell…
Sources: The Mirror, Sky Sports News.