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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 July 2006, 19:24 GMT 20:24 UK
Experts slam Sven
England were knocked out of the World Cup at the quarter-final stage on Saturday, losing 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out to Portugal having drawn 0-0 after 120 minutes.

Ex-England boss Graham Taylor, ex-internationals Chris Waddle and Alan Shearer, plus Alan Hansen and 1966 World Cup winner Alan Ball gave BBC Sport their expert views on the final whistle.

Graham Taylor
Graham Taylor
BBC Five Live Sport summariser

They've just played the best they have ever done here and you can't criticise the players for the way they have played in this match.

But what worries me is that I'm not too certain when I can next see England winning the World Cup, if again.

I look at the Under-21 side that is being selected now and there aren't all that many Premiership players in there because of all the foreign players, so it worries me.

This was a great, great opportunity for us to have done well and it's ended in a very sad way.

You could see the difference in the penalties between England and Germany.

From the way they walk, the way they approach the ball and the way the Germans took the penalties with the accuracy and precision, you never thought they would miss.

Eriksson is not a better or worse coach than all of us - there is nothing extra special about him

Former England manager Graham Taylor

You did not have that same feeling with England. You have got to practise, you have got to work at them.

Because of the money Eriksson's paid and other things that have happened off the pitch, there will be more against than for now that Eriksson has gone.

Things have moved on since he came in. Things have improved, it's wrong to say they haven't. He came in and built a contented and settled squad.

But my honest opinion is that he is not a better or worse coach than all of us - there is nothing extra special about him.

What turned people against him was what happened off the pitch. He wanted to have a private life and as an England manager he has misunderstood the culture we have in this country.


Chris Waddle
BBC Five Live Sport summariser

We haven't played well, we had years to prepare and nothing's changed, we are a quarter-final team and no more.

Every time we play a team with a bit of craft and skill we can't deal with it.

It's such a burden on our shoulders knowing that we are no good at penalties and we have to make sure we win the game and not put ourselves through that.

We have got to face reality that we are a team nowhere near the top seven countries in the world.

We pay good money to watch our players in the Premiership and they are very well paid.

I think Wayne Rooney could go back to the Manchester United training ground and stick one on Ronaldo

Alan Shearer

But we have got to wake up in this country and realise that we are not a great team.

We coach too much at a young age and we take the skill away from our youngsters.

Look at Cristiano Ronaldo, Simao, Pauleta. We don't have a player anything like that. Every other country has one, but we don't.

We have got to go back to basics and teach skill to the youngsters.


Alan Hansen
Match of the Day summariser

You have got to feel sorry for the players who had the bottle to take the penalties, and then you have to praise the players who stood up and held Portugal out during the match.

But the decision by the manager to play one up front was absolute folly. The system never looked like working. Everyone will question the manager now and rightly so.

Whenever the English players go to any tournament they will always want to play a system that they know and are comfortable with. And they didn't have that.

I think the manager has contributed to England's downfall. He never got the shape or balance of the team right.

You look at the line-up and look at the players and you have got to wonder why they have played so badly.


Alan Shearer
Match of the Day summariser

I'm devastated for the players. I've been there before and it's absolutely horrible. How you're feeling at home, multiply that by a million and that's how they feel.

We were all waiting for that big performance to come but it never came, and with the players we have it's very disappointing.

I think there's every chance that Wayne Rooney could go back to the Manchester United training ground and stick one on Ronaldo because he hasn't helped him there.

We all know he's frustrated but he can't do that. He's lost his temper, he can't do that and Ronaldo hasn't helped.


Alan Ball
Match of the Day summariser

The fans have been waiting for the players to take this tournament by the scruff of the neck and perform, but that hasn't happened.

Portugal were there for the taking, they showed absolutely nothing and they are the luckiest side in the world.

The main debate will be that this side have not perfomed and do not deserve to be in a World Cup semi-final.

They did not have a clue how to break England down. England held the edge of the box and did well but the big guns didn't fire for us today.

Right from the beginning in the choosing of the squad there were problems. You don't take gambles, you don't have a plan B. You must have the plan A.

There has been mistakes right from the very beginning. You can't expect players to just turn it on at this level if they're playing in the wrong set-up, it just doesn't happen.



SEE ALSO
England beaten on penalties again
01 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006
Sven's sorry exit
02 Jul 06 |  England
Rooney's dismissal stuns England
01 Jul 06 |  England
Eriksson's England time in photos
24 Jan 06 |  Photo Galleries
Final whistle sounds for Eriksson
01 Jul 06 |  Internationals


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