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England’s Pathetic Performance In Miami Foreshadowed World Cup Demise

england Englands Pathetic Performance In Miami Foreshadowed World Cup Demise

For World Cup 2014, England supporters bought 57,000 tickets for the games in Brazil, and each spent countless thousands of British pounds to travel halfway across the world to support their team. Based on the performances in the two games England played against Italy and Uruguay, it’s a wonder that the England national team has any following at all.

Even before a ball was kicked at Brazil 2014, the writing was on the wall for England. On the eve of England’s journey to Rio, the national team played on a humid Miami afternoon against Honduras. With the score at 0-0, Honduran Brayan Beckeles was sent off in the 66th minute, giving England the opportunity to play against the 10 men of arguably the weakest team in the World Cup. But England’s performance for the remaining 24 minutes of the match, as it was in the preceding 66 minutes of the game, was absolutely pathetic. The team couldn’t finish any of their chances. They were slow, apprehensive and unimaginative in attack. And they sputtered to a final 0-0 draw.

Post-match, Hodgson brushed off the performance and said he was just satisfied that none of his players got injured in a match that was marred by physical play from the Hondurans. But it felt like an excuse. Instead. he should have been deeply concerned given how empty England’s performance was.

Life as an England supporter can be an absolutely depressing experience, which is why I’m actually glad that Costa Rica beat Italy today and knocked England out of the World Cup. Why? Costa Rica’s win means that England fans don’t have to be tortured any longer with a false hope that maybe, even with the slimmest of margins, England could have found a way to qualify for the next round of the World Cup. Costa Rica’s victory means that England’s fate has been decided. There’s no agonizing wait until the third and final England match, hoping for a miracle and an impressive England performance. Instead, it’s black and white. England failed yet again. Now, at least England fans know it’s over and they can get on with their lives.

In the coming weeks, there’ll be plenty of theories and opinions shared about where England went wrong and what they can do to change things. Personally, my opinion is that Roy Hodgson lacked the fortitude when he needed it the most. Wayne Rooney, despite scoring a tap-in goal, shouldn’t have been on the pitch for England. His performances of late, and for Manchester United, have been flat. And whether it was a result of media pressure, a sense of false belief or his own error in judgment, Hodgson decided to give Rooney the most prominent role against Uruguay, and the decision failed. His faith in Wayne Rooney instead of Ross Barkley ultimately cost England the creative spark they so desperately needed in the hole. And even when he brought Barkley on as a substitute against Uruguay, it wasn’t to remove Rooney. But instead Hodgson removed the bright spark Raheem Sterling instead, which was a grave error given the speed, dribbling and unpredictability that the Liverpool winger possessed.

Wayne Rooney isn’t the reason that England eventually slumped to defeat against Uruguay, but he’s one of a number of factors. Yet again for England, it was a combination of a lack of chemistry, skill and creativity that was ultimately their downfall, as well as stupid mistakes. We’ve been here before — Euro 2012, World Cup 2010, World Cup 2006, Euro 2004, World Cup 2002, Euro 2000, World Cup 1998 and so on and so forth. It gets old. Real fast.

By now, as England fans, we shouldn’t be surprised. England’s decline is predictable and like clockwork. And while it’s never easy to swallow defeat, at least we now know it’s over.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
This entry was posted in England, England National Team, World Cup, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to England’s Pathetic Performance In Miami Foreshadowed World Cup Demise

  1. Aram Gyan says:

    well said. harsh, but very fair.

  2. Jake says:

    Gaffer it’ll get better with your new crop.
    I’d like to step in and say work is being done with the St. George Complex. More technical English players are being developed now as well. The difference in a way was the Strikers. Wayne Rooney had 3 good chances. He hit the bar with one, hit one right at the keeper, and scored a tap in.
    I think Suarez puts away 2/3 chances.

  3. Mr D7000 says:

    No one cares the PL is now far more important to the average English footie fan, than who wins a competiton run by theifs, fixers and bribers.

  4. Paul says:

    I said this very thing since before the WC. Rooney is not a #10. I dont understand the obsession with playing him there. There are 2 players in the team that offers way more as #10s than Rooney in Sterling and Barkley.

    The fact that he put Rooney on the left in the first game meant that he thought so too but he lacked the guts to go all the way and drop him altogether for the 2nd game.(As Sturridge is in better form as a striker).

  5. Smokey Bacon says:

    Rooney was England’s best player against Uruguay by a country mile. Barkley had a quiet game when he came on as did Sterling. Neither would have made a difference. We lost because our defense was not up to it and they got no help from either Gerrard or Henderson. We were out muscled in midfield all night long and undone by two quality finishes from a top striker.

    I don’t think Hodgson did much wrong. If he deserves criticism it’s because he did not have a plan to combat either Pirlo or Suarez. Look at Costa Rica today. They gave Pirlo no time on the ball and Italy were exposed as an average side. And not having a plan for Suarez is even more criminal given what we see every week in the EPL. There was too much emphasis on formations and not enough tactical planning for the opposition. Phil Jones could have been used to shackle Pirlo and Suarez in place of Henderson.

    Also, 2002, 2004 and 2006 were decent by England standards so let’s not overreact. I just hope we learn from this failed campaign and improve from here.

  6. Brian says:

    This England squad is very average and is the reason why they struggled against better talent. How many of England’s players would get into the starting line-up of teams such as Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona, etc. Hardly any. Therein lies the problem. Players like Sterling and Barkley have potential but have yet to prove that they are world-class. It does the English youngsters no favours to hype them to no end.

    Compared with past Italian squads this is not one of the strongest and this is probably one of the weakest Uruguay squads in a while (that’s why they struggled in the qualifiers and had to beat Jordan, yes Jordan, to qualify). Yet, both teams played with more composure, skill and intelligence than the English. Watching both of England’s matches showed how rarely the English players were on the same wavelength. There were very few passes among the forwards and more often than not each tried to go it alone. Both Italy and Uruguay had an identity in their play and one could see what they were trying to achieve. Not so with England.

    Until the English players acquire more technical skills and a way of playing that is cohesive England will fail more often than not. And that should not be a surprise.

  7. aburtyboy says:

    Come on Chris, put you money where your mouth is. clean up my counter post and put it out there, they are the exact same theories but directly aimed at Liverpool.
    you just cant do it can you? you’ll bend are over the sponsors but you wont piss of the scousers? kidies, Chris and his lads wont slag Gerrard shhhhhh…

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