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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 July 2006, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Terry Butcher's England view

Terry Butcher
Former England captain and Five Live summariser

Sven-Goran Eriksson
Butcher believes Eriksson has failed to take England to the next level

Sven-Goran Eriksson has left his job as England coach after five-and-a-half years in charge - and we are no further forward than when he was appointed.

He has reached three quarter-finals in two World Cups and a European Championship, and that is nowhere near the standard we should be achieving with the so-called "Golden Generation" of players coming through.

England and the Football Association have created a massive bubble that we all have to move around in and it is completely false.

Why should we be proud of the fact that we have one star on our shirt representing the fact that we reached one World Cup final 40 years ago?

We have become all Billy Big Time and become too big for our boots, and yet we have got nothing to shout about

Other countries have two or three stars to signify their World Cup achievements and both Germany and France have the power to add another in Germany.

It is embarrassing. We have only ever been in one final and two semi-finals.

How can we justify calling ourselves a world football power when we are not?

We have become all Billy Big Time and become too big for our boots, and yet we have got nothing to shout about because we have done nothing. This is what annoys me.

We have no right to be as confident or arrogant about our football as we are. It has been not been anywhere near good enough.

And sadly, Eriksson has not taken us on to the next level.

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He has never come up with a blend in midfield that can take us forward. Our back four has been terrific, but there seems to be a dearth of forward talent after Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen.

Eriksson has also shied away from the big decisions. Everyone knows my view on David Beckham and the fact that I felt he should have been dropped during this World Cup.

I am not, despite what people have said, anti-Beckham. I just don't subscribe to the theory that you play your so-called best players without question.

Sometimes you need to get the best blend.

David Beckham
Beckham has received plenty of criticism during this World Cup
It's like baking. You need to mix the ingredients correctly or you get a flat pudding - and this World Cup was the football equivalent of a flat pudding for England.

I honestly think England would have gone further had Eriksson sat up and taken the tough decisions, and my honest opinion is that there were times when England would have been better off without Beckham.

Take Frank Lampard. He has not been at his best. Would Eriksson have considered leaving him out if we had gone further?

He has moved from system to system and there have been different teams. There has been no sense of continuity.

Other teams in the World Cup have had their teams and systems set out before they arrived. We never had that.

The 4-1-4-1 system never worked. It was a system that suited Eriksson more than the players because it enabled him to get the star names in the side.

Eriksson's attitude to friendlies has also been poor. His constant use of players for token appearances has been an abuse of international matches.

We had people like Alan Thompson given one match and then discarded. This wasn't conducive to continuity or for players getting valuable international playing time.

So Eriksson moves on to his next job, leaving us no more advanced than when he arrived

The big disappointment in this World Cup was that England just didn't play. I was optimistic, but that was based on Eriksson taking the big decisions - it didn't happen.

At least at Euro 2004 England played well against France, Switzerland and Croatia, and also against Portugal before they went out.

It just hasn't happened for them here, despite the fact that their preparation conditions were perfect and their draw was pretty well perfect too.

They missed a big chance against Portugal because the route was opening up. Portugal will not win the World Cup, and yet they have got past England.

In Eriksson's defence, there have been positives.

He picked up the squad and got us to the World Cup in 2002. There was that magnificent 5-1 win against Germany in Munich and successive wins against Argentina - but not a lot else that springs to mind.

So Eriksson moves on to his next job, leaving us no more advanced than when he arrived.

We have older players who won't be at the next World Cup and younger ones who have had injuries and may not make it either.

There is surgery required as Eriksson leaves England behind.



SEE ALSO
Eriksson defends Walcott choice
02 Jul 06 |  England
England tipped to mount recovery
02 Jul 06 |  England
Beckham quits as England captain
02 Jul 06 |  England
Sven's sorry exit
02 Jul 06 |  England
End of road for wayward England
02 Jul 06 |  England
Experts slam Sven
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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