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Page last updated at 06:34 GMT, Tuesday, 29 June 2010 07:34 UK

Alan Shearer on England

Downcast England players

Highlights - Germany 4-1 England

Alan Shearer
By Alan Shearer
Former England captain and BBC Sport pundit

When you are an England player and you are knocked out of a major tournament, you want to bury your head in the sand.

After England lost to Argentina at the 1998 World Cup, it hurt a lot. I went away and tried to forget about football for a few weeks.

As a player, that is what you do, you escape for a while. Then it is back to reality when you return to your club for the new season.

The future is a lot less certain for England coach Fabio Capello after such a dire World Cup.

His side have flown home after failing to beat the United States and Algeria, scraping by Slovenia and taking a battering off Germany.

Huge mistakes have been made along the way. If you just look at the German game, then I don't think I have seen such a bad England performance in a very long time, if ever.


Where next for England? Well, I would be very surprised if Capello is still in charge for their next game, which is a friendly against Hungary on 11 August.

Right now, I don't expect him to just walk out but he has basically been told his position is in doubt by the Football Association, who say they will decide in the next two weeks whether they want him to stay on.

Should he go? Well, before the World Cup he said he would be disappointed if England did not get to the final. They fell a long way short of that.

The majority of the blame has to lie with Capello. He is the one who picks the team, decides the tactics, tries to motivate the players and get the best out of them. As we have seen, he got things wrong.

The players do not escape scot-free because they have not performed as we know they can but, ultimately, the manager answers for results and performances.

How do I feel about it? My overriding feeling is one of regret. I had such high hopes for us before the tournament.

There are always 'what ifs'. If the United States had not scored in the last minute of their game against Algeria, we would have topped our group and played Ghana instead of Germany.

England's World Cup dream is over

England's World Cup dream is over

And we can point to the goal that Frank Lampard scored when we were 2-1 down against the Germans. It was an appalling decision not to give it.

But we got what we deserved. We did not deserve to go any further in the World Cup. Everybody has to face up to it, including the players.

Unfortunately for them, not many of them can hold their heads up high and say they had a good tournament. In fact, probably only goalkeeper David James comes out of it with any credit.

For me, the biggest disappointment was Wayne Rooney, who has had a really poor tournament by his own high standards. Everybody, including me, expected so much from him but he has not performed anywhere near the level we know he can.

It is not just Rooney, though. You could go through the whole squad and say the same about everyone from John Terry to Frank Lampard.

Underachievement is the theme of the tournament from England's point of view.

If we did not know how good they can be, we might think that our players are not up to it but I think they are.

Capello says the players are tired but they have simply not played for him. There has to be a reason for that.

They never looked comfortable and I get the impression they were not too happy. It was not a settled camp.

I am not in the inner circle so I do not know if that is definitely the case but I get the feeling we might find out more reasons why the 2010 World Cup was such a crushing disappointment for England.

Alan Shearer was talking to Chris Bevan in Cape Town.

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see also
FA waits to make Capello decision
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England still have issues - Cole
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Pressure on FA after England exit
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Fifa evades technology questions
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
No rift in England camp - Lampard
21 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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