|feedback | low graphics version|
|You are in: Euro2000: Sportstalk|
Monday, 3 July, 2000, 05:56 GMT 06:56 UK
Where did England go wrong?
England have crashed out of Euro 2000 after a shattering 3-2 defeat by Romania. But where did it all go wrong?
Phil Neville may have been the guilty man in terms of conceding that vital late penalty, but can the blame solely be laid at his feet?
Kevin Keegan's side certainly struggled at many times during their group games, notably in throwing away a 2-0 lead against Portugal and conceding sloppy goals against Romania.
England's defence rarely looked solid throughout the three matches, and their midfield was often overrun for long periods.
Up front, Alan Shearer and Michael Owen toiled hard but were they the right combination to spearhead England's hopes?
Or were Keegan's tactics at fault, a rigid 4-4-2 formation was perhaps not the correct approach in a big international tournament.
Tell us what you think.
Where did England go wrong?
The England team do not connect together like many other of the teams in Europe and there are plenty of factors which are responsible. Clearly the team is lacking a bond which the Italians, for example, possess. The failure to communicate effectively and the lack of skill and confidence of the less experienced players was evident in the poor team performances. I do acknowlege that individually players such as Beckham showed an obvious committment to the game.
Far too much domestic football is played. Our players don't practice their skills enough. Get rid of the Worthington Cup for Premiership sides, and reduce the Premiership to 18 teams. That should reduce the number of injuries our players suffer
What we have seen over and over again in this championship are teams with greater tactical awareness and players who have a greater flare for football than England. The obvious need now is for more of our coaches and players to work with European sides on the continent - just look how McManaman has improved.
Chris Sherrard, Northern Ireland
It really starts off at grass roots and how our game and future talent is being squeezed out by greedy, mediocre foreign players. A system needs to be put in place to restrict the number of foreign players in our leagues. England need to rebuild. We have some great talent coming through and they must be given a chance sooner rather than later.
Neither the coach nor the players should carry the blame, it's the whole system that needs to change. It's going to take a long time for England to understand that they cannot rely on 'long' balls to win a match.
The clubs in this country are as much to blame as Keegan as they coach the players for ten months of every year. They must take most of the responsibility for the fodder that they put at England's disposal.
England made a mistake in selecting big names instead of the best players, they are afraid of hurting reputations. England did the best they could with the players at their disposal. The only English world class players are McManaman and Scholes and in the near future Owen.
It might be simplistic to say that it is all Keegan's fault, but sometimes the simple answers are the right ones. When England failed to qualify for USA 94, I remember seeing Terry Venables on TV saying that he could take the existing group of players who had been written off and turn them into a championship winning team. He did not win Euro 96 but he proved his point. Of course managers can improve players and get the best out of them, otherwise what is the point of them?
I've never seen a worse England team. Nice guy, good motivator but Keegan's a poor coach. No midfield, sluggish, unaware of where their fellow players were, over reliance on the long ball and deep crosses, total inability to string passes together, an inability or reluctance to take on and beat opponents. England will not get through the World Cup qualifiers with Keegan in charge.
English players' basic skills are inferior to the Europeans. In addition we play far too many domestic fixtures - the Worthington Cup should go and the Premiership should be an 18 team league. Our players need to practise more and play less
I think the England lads gave every ounce of effort they had but the bottom line is that they are going through a phase where they are simply not good enough. Other nations have caught up in the past five years and England can do nothing about that.
England's renowned abilities to match the superior skills of foreign teams with passion and commitment are no longer enough. I believe that this is due to the concentration of footballing talent in the big European clubs with the result that all the best foreign players are now playing in top class football and can draw on this experience on the big occasion for their countries. There is a European breed of footballer being created who transcends national boundaries.
Bob Miles, Germany
Phil Neville is not the only guilty player. I'm sure he was giving 100% as was Shearer and the rest. The whole team were totally outclassed. Instead of slagging them off all the time why not get behind the whole team and try to encourage them a little.
Wake up England! How on earth do you expect to be regarded as a great football nation and world beaters when you have actually always been managing to just scrape through to the next rounds of tournaments by dubious means. Remember Italia '90 - England against Cameroon, where you were totally outclassed, outplayed and outthought.
England failed to win in Euro 2000 however I don't think it is the end of the world for England. I believe that Keegan needs to bring in some of the young players for the World Cup qualifiers, build a team and formation for that team in the qualifiers and stick with it in the championship.
Tim Lewis, England
The same English people who are saying Italian football is slow and boring are now discussing tactics after England's miserable exit. It's clear as crystal that England should learn from the Italians how to control games if things don't go their way.
I believe that the England players are TECHNICALLY sound but were TACTICALLY inferior. When England apply their quick and aggressive Premiership style of play, the opposition look scared, plain and simple. The players do not need anymore spirit, however what they do need is a good manager who is tactically sound.
We always get this major analysis after a defeat, but does anything ever change. Our players aren't that bad. The sad fact is that under Hoddle and Keegan we have been going backwards. We breed footballers who can't think for themselves, therefore the importance of the manager is increased. There are only limited candidates for the job, and Keegan isn't one of them.
England lost Euro 2000 from the moment the squad was announced. There were no alternatives within the ageing squad. Now out of Euro 2000, we start the World Cup with players too old and the talented youngsters without enough experience. Will Keegan start to pick players like Ferdinand, Lampard, Cole, Hendrie, Dyer, Woodgate, Bowyer and Bridges? Probably not. He'll stick to his favourite donkeys - Heskey, Wise, Ince, and the Neville boys who weren't good enough before.
England were not balanced on the left, they are tactically naive and until they learn to pass the ball and defend properly they will never be great.
Adhering to a very rigid 4-4-2 formation and selecting all the wrong players did England in. Four defenders were usually marking just one man while the midfield was overrun against Portugal and the same thing happened against Romania.
English football be it schoolboy, Premiership or international level relies too much on nurturing toughness in players so that they can steam-roller the opposition. The emphasis should switch to teaching players of all abilities, skills, techniques and tactics. In 10 to 20 years time, England may then have a team to be proud of. There is no quick fix in either selecting different players or employing another man as coach. No coach in the world can do anything with the current generation of players.
After all the shouting is over it is rather sad that England once again have fallen far short of expectations. The question has to be asked just how much are these players worth on a weekly pay schedule? On the performance that was put forth surely not the astronomical fees that they seem to think they are worth. The paying public have to determine if they are going to put up with this fraudulent conduct or just start by keeping away from the grounds. Sorry England, even though my heart wanted you to win my instincts said we lacked the basic skills to compete at this competition.
What a surprise! The doom merchants are out in force. I'll tell you why we went out of Euro 2000 so early. National teams go through cycles. There are peaks and troughs and if you have a bit of luck at a time when you're strong, you'll do well in a big tournament. England are currently in a low ebb, but unlike Germany, we have a lot of hope. Yes, we have some ageing players, but we also have young players coming through. Beckham, Scholes, Owen and Campbell have been around a while but are nowhere near their peak. And Keegan too is learning; it's better to have a manager who takes four years to mature and then stays and does a good job, than one like Venables and Hoddle who barely have time to sit down! In two years time, the stars of today will be older and wiser and then we will have the realistic chance that we didn't really have this time around.
Glenn Hoddle was right. We missed Teddy Sheringham linking up midfield and attack. And Surely, 3-5-2 would have been better than playing Phil Neville at left back. Come back Glenn, all is forgiven.
We were doomed from the start! Keegan's selection was all wrong. Why Rio Ferdinand wasn't taken I'll never know - he's proved himself all season at club level and several times as an international. It's all very well saying he needs international experience but how's he going to get any if nobody will give him a shot? And what was the top goalscorer in the country doing sitting on the bench? Kevin Phillips is quality through and through! Heskey spends half his time on the deck and the other half vainly attempting to keep control of the ball. Keegan needs to give some of the younger lads a chance if we're ever going to do anything internationally.
Wrong squad, wrong team selection and wrong tactics equals wrong manager.
England have put on a poor performance in recent games, however, I believe this is merely a phase. We can criticise the team all we like but we must have faith in our players, whoever they may be, and give them our 100 percent backing. They go out there and give their country everything they have. They'll prove to the world that England are a dominant footballing power!
Embarrassing! Keegan, when you give these press conferences before and during the tournament, don't feed us with rubbish. If we were as you said, "good enough to win the competition" why such humiliating defeats? We are now the laughing stock of the football world with the hooligans ,the football and our bid for the World Cup.
The travelling thugs got what they deserved - a quick flight home. The team are a bunch of overpaid prima donnas who would not be selected for any other countries squad. They should all sit in front of the TV and watch how teams pass and control a football and then go to bed and dream that one day they will be able to see it in an England team, hopefully in their lifetime but certainly not in their career. The game is not just hoof it out, pass it to the wing and hope that a cross will meet someone's head if it comes over, Mr Keegan.
I got up at 2.45am three times to watch my beloved country play in Euro 2000. On the whole, I would have rather stayed asleep. The 11 men on the field were all wrong - why Shearer, why the Nevilles and why Adams? Do we not have better players than them? Other countries use younger players even though they have less experience. Why not use Kevin Phillips? Okay, he hasn't played in a tournament like this before, but why not find out if he can swim with the big boys. Next time, let the spectators pick the team by poll - you would get a better team than Keegan and the FA picked.
Where did England go wrong? Simple. They didn't score enough goals. Fans often amaze me when they talk of how well their team played and how lucky their opponents were. The aim of the game is to score more goals than your enemy. So by definition, the better team always wins. Brilliant footwork, ball control and passing is as nought if you can't get the ball into the net.
Sorry but your league is overrated, your players are overpaid and strangers in your teams are taking place of your boys. It's the same in Germany.
At least we won't have the posturing of Alan Shearer to contend with in the World Cup qualifiers. We might just have a captain who is capable of inspiring the team around him instead of issuing threats that he won't play for England if he's disciplined. The sad fact is, we struggled to qualify with a mediocre team and Kevin Keegan's tactical shortcomings. It's probably true that we have the best league in the world, but what percentage of players are English? Should we then be too hard on Kevin Keegan?
Okay, so England have been disappointing in Euro 2000. However, some of the heavy criticism they have received is completely over the top. If we hadn't conceded that late goal everyone would have been chuffed with the national team and looking forward to a chance to prove ourselves against Italy. This overly dramatic complaining is merely a reaction to the disappointment felt by England's exit from the tournament.
England's exit from the tournament is hardly surprising; the flowing style of football played under Terry Venables is dead. The key factor to England's failure is simple - the manager. It is easy to blame the lack of quality players, injuries and such but let us not forget that Keegan's previous managerial records showed that he's a poor tactician when it comes to defence. This weakness has been evident in Euro 2000. It is time England moves on from here, without Keegan though.
If players getting paid at least £30,000 a week cannot pass the ball to team mates - what hope do we have?
Keegan will stay. The FA will not lose face concerning their decision to appoint Keegan. They virtually begged Keegan to take the job and will not make such a drastic U-turn. The blame must solely lie with the FA. They make all the important decisions concerning the National team and the domestic game. Only the FA can provide the foundation for a revolution in English football.
Surely the truth of the matter is that England's expectations far exceeded their abilities. The majority of their players are at best good competent pro's, with the few who do possess a modicum of skill, reluctant to impose themselves on the game. Prior to the Romania game, the talk was of a 'mouth-watering' tie against Italy - how bumptious and naive can you get? Pride does indeed come before a fall; no wonder other countries smirk at England's regular misfortune. England's only saving grace for the future is that they have an equally poor Germany in their World Cup qualifying group.
Let's stop kidding ourselves; at the end of the day there just wasn't enough quality on the pitch. We forget that because of the big salaries and the superstar status we place upon the players but the truth is we just don't have players capable of competing at the highest level. David Beckham aside, there isn't a truly world class player in the English squad. Let's concentrate on those youth academies and hope for better in the future.
Long time before Euro 2000, I considered England as my foreign favourite football team and I followed your national team in all major events. I love your style, your commitment and your pride. I am very sorry that we had clash against each other in France '98and now. You must know Romanians are big fans of your culture and history. We are glad that we have entered the last eight, but we are not happy that we eliminated England. Don't replace Keegan he is a very good coach but a piece of advice - be more aggressive next time and kill the game while you still have the chance to do it!
I'm afraid that Mr Keegan is to blame. The Nevilles, Wise, Barmby and Ince are not international quality. The midfield was constantly outplayed as a direct result of Keegan's loyalty to players who have more than had their day. I also think that the so-called 'fans' didn't help their team one bit - their actions must influence the mindset of the players in some way.
England were poor all over the field. They did not close their opponents down quick enough. In the majority of games they were ball-watching and when they had the possession they did not know what to do with the ball, except lose it again.
I agree that the defence was poor against the Portuguese and Romanian sides, but I thought that they turned it up a notch for the German game. It beats me why there are right-footed players playing in left-sided positions. Are there no naturally left-footed English players in England good enough to play for their country?
If you were neutral you would have wanted Romania to have won over the 90 minutes as they were the better side. Overall it was a bad tournament for England, both the fans and football. The win over Germany was put in perspective when Portugal's second team beat them 3-0. It's time for new faces and young faces; I want to see players who look up for it and sadly there was not enough of them in Euro 2000.
England conceded six goals in three games, squandered the lead twice and defensively, was just not good enough. A team is built on a solid defence; England's was about as solid as quicksand!
Cheer up, you beat Ads Late Enemy in points and head-to-head. Hasn't anyone noticed the real footballing power
lies in southern and eastern Europe, if not the money? Re: the gent wanting to name Roy Keene in a 'UK' side - since when
was Cork part of the UK?
Shameful! Simply an awful performance from start to finish. Whilst I would be delighted to blame the Nevilles I feel that they represent too easy a target. No one should escape, but there are individuals who didn't even seem to be trying to play. Was it as bad as this in 88? I hope that Keegan realises that he's out of his depth and steps down, however, who can take over?
The players are totally lacking in any football skills whatsoever - it's all kick and rush with no ball control skills at all - more like schoolboy football. It's better they've gone out now rather than face a really humiliating double figure defeat at the hands of Italy.
Rarely since Keegan took over has England played well. Wrong selections, an almost fanatical and wrong belief in some player's qualities has cost the team and country dear.
To loose a winning lead once by allowing the midfield to be overrun is not good. To do it a second time is downright bad management. Couple that with players who are inferior to the opposition just about all over the park and it is clear we got what we deserved.
Apart from England's Euro '96 win over Holland, I can't remember the last time they played well against top class opposition. Perhaps we should give up football as the national sport and make it curling instead.
I am sad to say that the time has come to appoint a foreign manager. We are obviously lacking in tactical awareness as well as technical ability. We have been absolutely shocking during Euro 2000 and the time has come for a real shake up.
It's all very simple. We don't have players good enough to compete on a World or European stage and Keegan bizarrely wanted to play 4-4-2. The Germans must feel terrible - even England beat them!
The failure of the England team boils down to one thing - lack of commitment. With the exception of Keown, Shearer, and the occasional burst from Scholes, none of the players seemed at all interested in fighting for the ball, the team or the country. Keegan has done all he could but must feel dreadfully let down by players showing such an unforgivable lack of passion. Disappointed though I am, I feel it would have been an insult to football had such a team progressed any further in the competition.
The influx of overseas players in the top flight of English football is restricting the openings and development of potential home-grown talent. The manager will no doubt have to rebuild the team in time for the next World Cup as it is clear that a large number of the existing team are over the hill or are limited in an international arena. To do this he will have to look to the lower divisions where the influx of overseas players is not so great. It is interesting to note that there are very few UK players in Europe compared to the vast number that are on show at every English Premier game. Sport must surely become exempt from the EU cross border employment laws.
The England players need to regularly train together as a team instead of playing too much club football. By the end of the football season it is too much to ask them to play for England, especially on a part-time basis.
Both Neville brothers were awful. How both of them lasted the 90 minutes I will never know, and why Gareth Barry was left on the bench and why Southgate replaced Scholes I will never know.
We desperately need to find midfield players who can take the ball forward and beat a man, just like the opposition seem to do to us. I don't blame Phil Neville at all; he's a right-footed player being asked to play left-back when we had a perfectly suitable left-sided player on the bench in Gareth Barry. Keegan accused his players of not having enough faith in each others ability but in not playing Barry the words pot and kettle instantly come to mind. Keegan got it wrong.
Maybe the time has come to set aside our internal 'nationalities' and field a UK team. The addition of talents such as Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs would have surely made a more formidable force.
It seems England players are paid inversely proportional to how good they are. There was not one player from the pitiful display in these championships that earns less than a million quid a year. In this country we seem to reward mediocrity.
How many English players would get in the French team? Beckham on a good day maybe and that's all! It's about time Keegan realised that 'pride in the shirt' and 'effort and endeavour' aren't enough at this level. Does he think other sides don't give 100 percent as well? Only Beckham, Scholes and Owen are worth sticking with - and they need to learn how to pass and hold the ball - the others are just dead wood.
Losing at this stage will be good for the future of English football. If we had gone through to the latter stages, the campaign would have been deemed a success. Our early exit means that Keegan will be forced to make radical changes for the World Cup qualifiers. Joe Cole, Stephen Gerrard, Rio Ferdiand, Kieron Dyer and Gareth Barry will all come in. They all have the ability to pass the ball which is what England has not been doing for nearly ten years now. At least now the only way is up.
Come the start of next season the pundits will still be acclaiming our players as the greatest in the world, playing in the greatest league in the world. Rubbish. England have looked like a park side throughout Euro 2000. Their ball control and passing skills are abysmal and these are the basics of football. I don't think Kevin Keegan is entirely to blame - he has little to work with - but what is the point of taking players like Phillips and Fowler if he has absolutely no intention of giving them a chance. We were outplayed, outclassed and out-thought from day one.
A lot has been made of Keegan's tactical naivety and rightly so. Many of the players in this squad formed part of the team that won praise from foreign journalists for their more 'continental' style of play only two years ago, however, since Keegan took over the tactics bear more resemblance to the dross we played under Taylor. I would be calling on Keegan to do the 'honourable thing' but the sad fact is that apart from Venables (who is persona non-grata with the FA) Keegan, lamentably, really is the best man for the job.
England deserved to be knocked out. We were well beaten by both Portugal and Romania and scraped a win over a very poor German side. Our major problem is that we have no midfield to speak of. Until we have a couple of quality players who can take the ball from defence and feed the strikers then we will always struggle against good international opposition.
The truth is we're not a very good 'team'. When the Romanians passed the ball they found their man; when England passed the ball it also found Romanian men. Why? Personally, I don't blame Keegan at all bit I do think England need a prolonged summer camp so that these players learn how to play together. It's all very well having individual talents but England need to be a cohesive unit. Spending a month together over the summer may begin to create that.
I honestly think that Keegan should be sacked immediately. I have the disturbing feeling that even I could have done a better job. Likewise, the Neville brothers should never play for your national team again. They are suffering from a lack of pace, a lack of commitment in defence and a lack of marksmanship.
I am disappointed to say the least. When are England ever going to take the game to the opposition? Our current tactic is playing well for 20 minutes, scoring a goal and then deciding to quit while we are ahead by defending so deeply that we cannot keep the ball long enough to do some thing creative. Keegan must loose his 80s ideas about English football. The defenders of today must be able to actually play football and not just get in the opposition's way!
England rely on a lot of individual, overpaid misfits who have not got what it takes to be internationals. We can not solely blame Kevin for what happened but the way English football is run as a whole. We have too many foreign players which restricts the development of home grown players. I am disappointed at the way England played but was Kevin loyal to those of the team that can be classified as lame ducks?
It just shows how far we are behind everyone else. Maybe we should not be surprised, after all, England have lost three of their last four competitive games and have only managed to beat a very poor German side 1-0. As for Heskey, other countries must smile when he comes on; how the lad is worth 11 million I'll never know. The one good thing is that hopefully some of the deadwood will now be cut away, even though I'm not too optimistic about the young players coming through. Still, who said it was easy being English?
Lets bring on the omen Southgate and all goes pear-shaped. Why on earth were Owen and Scholes substituted for two players whom have next to no experience. I am ashamed to be British when we play such pathetic football.
England just don't have what it takes to play the game called possession of the ball. They need to wake up to the fact that other teams are equally capable of scoring goals. Booting it up the field as they did in the last six minutes is not what I call possession.
You can't really blame anyone in particular; the squad was just not
good enough to win the tournament. In my opinion, there
is a lack of quality English players at the moment. Maybe in a few years when the likes of Owen, Ferdinand, Lampard and Gerrard mature, combined with Beckham, Scholes, Campbell and Fowler then we will have a good team. But sadly again another disappointment.
England were simply not in the same class as Romania. The English passing and technical abilities were embarrassing and the goals were lucky. Paul Ince rolled over the ball rather than tripped. Owen was offside. England had two shots on goals in the first half and scored two goals. I think both the Neville brothers are awful and should never play for England again. Give some of the younger guys a chance now and at the same time improve the technical aspects of the game.
England were woeful. Look down the starting line up; too many old and tired names. What is most worrying, however, is the paucity of talent waiting in the wings. Expect barren years ahead. As an Englishman living overseas, I have been almost ashamed to be English this past week. Neanderthal behaviour outside the ground and Sunday league skill inside. We deserve to be despised!
The substitution of Wise for Barmby exposed Phil Neville putting him under pressure to concede the penalty. At 2-2, with England needing only a draw, Keegan did not need to change to an offensive line-up. England were also let down by the quality of their strike force. Striking is not just about scoring the odd goal, it is about movement off the ball and quickness of thought as well as an ability to pass the ball. I could go on, but I'll stop here.
Why, when surely it was perfectly obvious to everybody that was watching, did Keegan not reinforce the midfield where too often we were overrun?
I have to say this, Phil Neville should not be playing for England. He is not good at attacking let alone defending. I am not saying this because he lost us the game, but there is a perfectly capable, if not over-qualified man on the bench called Gareth Barry. Naturally left-footed and pacey. Why didn't Keegan play him?
The one good thing that may result from the complete and utter mess called
England's performance in Euro 2000, is that there surely will be a rigorous
analysis of Keegan's abilities as a manager.
So much for the "People's Choice", we need a tactician and a football brain
as well as a "Jolly Up/Motivator". The strategy must go beyond "Red Shirts"
and the saying the "Lads are up for it!"
Let's look forward to a new man for the World Cup.
Please can someone explain how Kevin Keegan at 2-2 can take off a holding player like Wise and put on Barmby, an attacking midfielder, in his place.....surely we should have held up the play and packed the midfield rather than expose the middle of the field to the opposition?
Steven Haughton, Manchester
What a pitiful set of performances from a so called classy
England side. We English have to start accepting that our national
football team have no class, little skill, no tactical
awareness and no stomach for major competition. We
cannot go on kidding ourselves that we can cut the mustard
at the top level. This has been the worst England side I have
watched in many a year.
I do think Phil Neville had one of the worst games of his life
and it looked obvious in the first half that he was more nervous
than the rest of the team. Why not substitute him at half-time for Southgate?
|^^ Back to top|
|Front Page | Results/Fixtures | Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Knockout | Teams | Sportstalk | Fans' Guide | AudioVideo | Photo Gallery