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Tuesday, 20 June, 2000, 23:28 GMT 00:28 UK
Where do England go from here?
Kevin Keegan
There is bound to be speculation about Keegan
BBC Sport Online's Alex Gubbay examines what Kevin Keegan's strategy should be following England's Euro 2000 failure.

England supporters were left with that all-too familiar feeling after a defeat against Romania that saw them crash out of Euro 2000 in the most horrible fashion.

But it was a different sort of penalty agony this time as Ioan Ganea's late spot-kick condemned Kevin Keegan's side to an early flight home.

Over in Charleroi and back home in pubs and homes up and down the country, fans will first mourn a sorry defeat and then begin the inevitable post mortem into what went wrong and where England go from here.

Clearly, there were many aspects of their performances over the three games that were well below-par.
Alan Shearer is consoled
A sad end to Shearer's international career

Defensively, England always looked vulnerable, with normally reliable players struggling to assert their authority at the back.

In attack, Alan Shearer's goal against Germany temporarily silenced the critics.

But the skipper bows out of international football with many still wondering whether this was perhaps a tournament too far.

However it was surely in midfield where the three displays gave most cause for concern.

On too many occasions, the opposition simply steamrollered top Premiership stars like Paul Ince and Dennis Wise.

Time and space

The Portuguese and Romanians, and even the limited Germans, were all given too much time to size up long shots or killer passes.

David Beckham and Paul Scholes looked bright going forward and were by far the two biggest plus-points for Keegan.

But even they were torn between their natural instinct to push forwards and the need to bolster a struggling rearguard.

Their Manchester United colleagues Gary and Phil Neville look exposed at times and can hardly be described as being world-class players.


Keown against Romania
Opposition players simply had too much space
So what now for Keegan and his troops?

Keegan will spend the rest of the summer planning the 2002 World Cup campaign.

At least Germany should not pose as big a threat as we first feared when the qualifying draw was made.

England will face a difficult test against Greece who will fancy their chances of progressing to Japan and South Korea in two years time.

Young blood

Keegan will no doubt look to bring in fresh blood.

Emerging players such as Gareth Barry, Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole should get a better look-in while Kevin Phillips will bid to replace Alan Shearer.

One thing is for sure. Keegan can not take all of the blame for England's Euro 2000 demise.

Perhaps at times his tactics were on the naive side, but he simply did not have enough talent available to make it a successful campaign.

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See also:

20 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Keegan refuses to make excuses
20 Jun 00 | England
Sad farewell for Shearer
20 Jun 00 | Euro2000
England v Romania clockwatch
20 Jun 00 | Euro2000
England on best behaviour
20 Jun 00 | The BBC Team
England paid price for bad mistakes
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