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Tuesday, 20 June, 2000, 22:08 GMT 23:08 UK
England paid price for bad mistakes
Alan Hansen's verdict on England's Euro 2000 exit
Hansen explains why England crashed out
The BBC's Alan Hansen says defensive blunders cost England - but also cites a lack of technical ability as a key factor in their demise.

England were just not good enough, it's as simple as that.

In terms of their technical and passing ability, they have been second best right from the start.

They had battled through with great spirit, grit and determination but made terrible mistakes at key times, which you just cannot do at this level.

Against Romania, Nigel Martyn was at fault for the second goal which gave the Romanians a way back into the match when they looked beaten.



It's the same old story, and you can't really blame Kevin Keegan for it

The BBC's
Alan Hansen

After half-time, all England had to do was keep it tight for 20 minutes and the game was theirs.

But they gifted their opposition an equaliser at an absolutely crucial time.

And as for Phil Neville's tackle for the penalty, the less said the better.

All defenders know that you cannot make challenges like that in the box unless you are absolutely sure you are going to get the ball.

Weak links

Bad mistakes saw England lose six goals in all - far too many to have any hope of going through.

But once again, their passing was never in the same league as that of the other teams.

It's the same old story really, and you can't really blame Kevin Keegan for it.

There has been talk about which system he should have adopted, but at the end of the day, there were just too many weak links in the side.

The ability of David Beckham and Paul Scholes shone through, and I thought Martin Keown did alright in defence, but you cannot afford to carry five or six players in a side.


Steven Gerrard in action for England
Gerrard: One of a select few praised by Hansen
Portugal and Romania were clearly the two best teams in the group. Romania may have got lucky with a late winner against England, but more than deserved it after harsh breaks against Portugal and Germany.

England can have no complaints. Spirit and determination will only get you so far and they must not let that late strike gloss over their glaring deficiencies.

No doubt there will now be a call for Keegan to bring youngsters in, but apart from Steven Gerrard who shows great potential, I cannot really see who he can turn to.

Kieron Dyer and Gareth Barry may head the list, but as far as I am concerned, they are not yet ready for international football.

As for Keegan himself, I believe he should stay on as coach.

It is not his fault that he does not have the players at his disposal to mould England into a side capable of really challenging at this level.

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See also:

20 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Keegan refuses to make excuses
20 Jun 00 | Euro2000
England v Romania clockwatch
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