Andy Munro on England’s exit from Euro 2016 and the future.
How come a team that is young, skilful, athletic and talented lose to a country with the population the size of of Coventry?
In fact, Woy, in his farewell speech, talked about a great future for a “hungry” squad. If ‘hunger’ is the appropriate word in the circumstances then they’ve obviously got the footballing version of anorexia.
It’s quite tragic that during much of the Iceland game, the Three Lions were playing a passing game – but unfortunately it was merely the passing of responsibility. Their running off the ball was turgid, lacking conviction and the lack of overall leadership and direction was there for all to see. If Shearer, Adams, Wright and Terry were dead, they would be turning in their graves but, instead, they were there in body as well as spirit to witness this gutless performance.
We were outfought and out battled by a team crafted in the best Viking tradition – maybe our lads should be fed a diet of rotting shark meat rather than prime steak by their WAGs. From keeper to the forward line, we were sadly lacking. Joe Hart is looking increasingly uncertain and the central defenders vocally give a great impression of mime artists. Perhaps the fullbacks are a bright spot but the midfield is woeful in its lack of forward tempo and how many times did England players ignore any green grass in front of them to, instead, play a sideways ball.
Up front, Woy’s determination to play Sterling backfired as both him and Sturridge continually held onto the ball for too long and wove over intricate patterns only to end up in a blind alley. Meanwhile, if Harry Kane is the best the new golden generation can offer, it doesn’t bode well for the future. In fairness, though, Kane is a player who needs some decent service and that was sadly lacking.
The situaton was crying out for a player of Andros Townsend’s directness and crossing ability but his omission is one of Woy’s many mistakes. Finally, with the team struggling badly by half time, would Woy, Way and Gruesome Gary Neville inspire their side to a second half Gallic style fury? Well, we all know the answer to that one!
And so on to the inevitable inquests, the calls for a root and branch change in the fundamental structure of English football and the clamours to make sure that next time we get it right. Then in 2018 the team will board the plane for Russia having built up the hopes of the nation and a couple of weeks after that they’ll return home determined to learn from their mistakes once more.