BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 22:44 GMT, Wednesday, 21 November 2007

BBC pundits on England

Alan Hansen
By Alan Hansen
Match of the Day pundit

England got exactly what they deserved, which was absolutely nothing.

They were out-thought, out-played and out-fought and this really is a real low point in English football history because they were abysmal, truly abysmal.

Mladen Petric
Petric's goal ended England's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008

You stand and fall by your decisions and Steve McClaren got it wrong. The keeper, the formation, it was all just plain wrong.

The first-half was probably the worst 45 minutes you'll ever see from England right across the board.

Croatia played in a system that all of their players understood and they looked so good, so comfortable as a result.

England, on the other hand, have not stopped chopping and changing. The players like playing a certain way and yet they go into a crucial match in an unfamiliar system.

The left-back was poor, the centre-halves were way below par and I can't believe how poor Steven Gerrard was.

But all in all, with the exception of Peter Crouch, from one to 11 England were devoid of class, devoid of organisation and most of all they were devoid of fight.

No-one can argue England deserved anything from this game, and no-one can say they deserved to qualify from the group.

They didn't deserve a thing.

Alan Shearer
By Alan Shearer
Match of the Day pundit

You can sometimes get away with one or two not playing to their maximum but I can't believe how many England players were so very poor.

Only Peter Crouch played anything like we know he can, and it's just left every last supporter devastated.

Something was just drastically missing from England. There was no pace, no urgency and Croatia were so comfortable for most of the match it was incredible.

You can question the system, you can question whether the players are good enough, you can question how much the players missing through injury hurt us.


But the fact is England do not deserve to go through on this performance.

The players looked scared and it needed someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

We had a disastrous start but we get back into it and all you can think is that England had to keep the pressure on.

But they didn't, they sat back at 2-2 unbelievably, and the third goal summed up our performance - no-one was within yards of Petric when he scored and it just showed a lack of urgency and commitment from our players.

The pressure on McClaren now will be absolutely unbelievable, but I don't think he'll resign. It wouldn't surprise me if the FA ends his term.

Ian Wright
By Ian Wright
Match of the Day pundit

I don't know what to say.

I feel sorry for Carson - Croatia were always going to shoot from anywhere and I at least thought he'd do the basics and get the body behind the ball. But he didn't and he's paid the price.

When you get a chance, a last-gasp reprieve, you've got to take it but England do not deserve to go through at the end of the day. No way.

Every time Croatia attacked I thought they were going to score. And the third goal was so soft it was untrue.

It's been a roller-coaster ride throughout qualifying and it's come down to this.

I'm absolutely devastated.

Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright were speaking on Match of the Day

Graham Taylor
By Graham Taylor
Former England manager BBC 5 Live pundit

I have to say, having gone 2-0 down, I was very worried because we've got almost a reserve back four and goalkeeper.

Looking at them and their body language, even (Sol) Campbell who is experienced, they looked nervous - it looked like it got to them.

Scott Carson
Carson's error set England back as they crashed out at Wembley

I never felt England were in control of themselves, never mind the game.

In 12 qualification games you generally get what you deserve.

There is a major difference between playing Premier League football and playing at the pace of international football.

You learn in the heat of the summer at major tournaments you have to learn to play at different levels and learn to keep the ball. Sometimes you keep it for the sake of keeping it.

But football crowds here won't accept that.

We've really got to do something about the future of English football at international level.

Until we do that then we are going to continue going in the same way.

Graham Taylor was speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live

see also
England 2-3 Croatia
21 Nov 07 |  Internationals
England axe hangs over McClaren
21 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Beckham dismisses retirement talk
21 Nov 07 |  Internationals
England player tracking
21 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Comment: FA must choose right boss
21 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Euro 2008 qualifying as it happened
21 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Euro 2008 tables
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
International football photos
21 Nov 07 |  Football
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites