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My view on England: 'Blame the team, not the boss'
SUMMING up what went wrong with England in 250 words is nigh on impossible but the facts are we are out and must, once again, endure the endless inquests into what went wrong.
The usual points about players losing self-belief when they pull on the jersey and their failure to win when facing the best sides will be dredged up... but let’s face it, England just aren’t a good team.
Good players don’t make a good team. But let’s be honest, do France, Italy or even Brazil have a good team? There are clear weaknesses in all these sides but again and again they do what England cannot. Win football matches when it really matters.
The day England crashed out, France exorcised their demons of four years ago to put five goals past a typically stalwart Switzerland. They were great, playing quick triangles in the attacking third and finishing clinically, despite missing their star player, Franck Ribery. Even players like Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko, who had average seasons at Newcastle, can turn it on for their country.
So why can’t we do that? Jagielka (a tower of strength for Everton) was poor, Gerrard enjoyed his best ever season in the Premier League but was lacklustre. I could go on all day.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones certainly aren’t the solution to our defensive failings and in 2018 our two stand-out names, Rooney and Gerrard, will be 32 and 38 respectively. So what next for the ‘golden generation’?
I don’t think the answer is sacking Hodgson. Despite two defeats (and counting) in the group we look a more free-flowing side under Roy and what would a new manager do? What would any of us do?