EchoSport's Chris Phillips on another disappointing night for England at the World Cup

Echo: Roy Hodgson - set for an early exit from the World Cup with England Roy Hodgson - set for an early exit from the World Cup with England

ANOTHER miserable World Cup campaign is all but over for England, this time without the pain of a penalty shoot-out.

But in weeks and months of another agonising aftermath, several reasons for the national team's latest failure will be brought up as possible excuses.

Some will look at the number of foreign players in the Premier League, others at the youth level of the game and the coaching structure currently in place in this country.

All of those are valid points and do definitely need exploring further, unlike the ridiculous proposition to introduce B teams in to the lower leagues.

But, for me, nothing will really change until the England national team really starts to matter to people once again.

That made sound strange but, to explain my point, take a look at how cricket and rugby are run in this country, Now I follow both of those sports regularly and watch every single international fixture on the television.

Yet I have absolutely no idea which county Garry Ballance bats for, who Chris Jordan bowls for or which club side Joe Marler regularly makes crunching tackles for.

For both cricket and rugby are completely geared around the national team and making sure everything possible can be done for them to succeed.

Central contracts dictate when players can appear domestically and the league often continues without these international stars being available to ensure they do not burn out.

That would simply never happen in football and you could only imagine the expletives and the out-rage if such a suggestion was ever to be made.

Supporters also find themselves in a similar situation and I am just as guilty as anyone else.

I am right up there with the most patriotic of English people and, right now, have some rather embarrassing face paint marks to fully emphasise that point.

But if I had to chose between Southend United winning League Two next season or England winning the World Cup, then I would go the way of the Shrimpers.

I expect most fans, managers, chairmen and those in real positions of power would feel exactly the same way.

And only if that ever changes and England's football team becomes more important and powerful than the clubs will more heart-break be avoided at future international tournaments.

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