Gerrard heartbroken after Euro exit
England's Steven Gerrard appears dejected after the final whistle
England captain Steven Gerrard admitted it was tough to take after a "heartbreaking" exit from Euro 2012 following a penalty shoot-out defeat against Italy.
England were beaten 4-2 on spot-kicks after their quarter-final clash in Kiev had finished goalless after extra-time. This was the latest in a long line of penalty shoot-out exits from major tournaments, following on from 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004 and 2006, and while Gerrard praised his team-mates for their showing in Poland and Ukraine, he conceded it was a painful way to go out.
"Everyone's been great in training, every time we've come out I think we've done the country proud, but again we're going home with heartbreak, which is difficult to take," he told BBC1.
The Liverpool midfielder added: "I just feel for the players who from day one have given everything and today we did the same.
"This time in the penalty shoot-out we thought we might have the bit of luck we needed but it wasn't to be.
"Credit to Italy they are fantastic team and they got the luck in the shoot out."
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England ultimately paid the price for their negative tactics and lack of dpeth. The defence played superbly, but the midfield were asked to play so defensively and were chasing every game, it's little wonder they had nothing left in the tank. You can't last a tournament playing like that. For this Hodgson has to take some of the blame.
But it also didn't help that none of the forwards brought their game with them. Based on club form, Ashley Young and Rooney were especially disappointing all tournament and Milner not much better. I would like to have seen Oxlade Chamberlain play more.....Henderson was just invisible!.
The lack of new talent is worrying, while the likes of Germany continue to produce exciting young players in a similar League situation??
It seems there a lot of people on here who either wish to gloat at England's tournament exit or else to congratulate the team on surpassing low expectations. Neither approach is objective.
When you strip out patriotism and the barely literate anti-England posts from the usual bitter, obsessed Scots, the bare facts make for difficult reading:
England qualified from a very poor group, enjoying luck in all 3 matches.
England were beaten last night by a deeply average Italy. Italy dominated possession, created enough chances to have won by an embarrassing margin, and the match was owned by a 34-yr old who was allowed to play unchallenged at a pedestrian pace throughout the 120 minutes.
England's tactics in all 4 games meant that they were routinely dominated in midfield and were forced to defend a deeper line as each game progressed.
Park the Bus tactics cannot prosper in tournament football when the team has to play every 3 or 4 days unless the squad depth permits full rotation. England don't have the depth, consequently the key players were overworked leading to the bizarre sight of Gerrard suffering cramp after a mere 60 minutes.
Rooney was visibly overweight and out of touch in both games, yet he played the whole game whilst the more dynamic Wellbeck was withdrawn. Young had an awful tournament, constantly yielding possession and failing to cover Cole; and Milner also offered no real value going forward in any game. If you set out to counter attack, you won't achieve much if those pivotal positions are occupied by players being picked solely on reputations.
Ultimately, it is far too early to judge Hodgson. Hopefully his tactics and selections were due to the inadequate time he was given to prepare for the tournament. But let's stop talking about how we lacked that little bit of luck . . . . we rode it throughout, and with the possible exception of the really unlucky Croatia, the best 4 teams will be contesting the semi-finals.
Who is the best player in the PL?
Who scored the most dramatic goal in the PL
Who is the best defender in the PL?
Who changes a game the most as soon as he steps onto the pitch in the PL?
How many teams in the PL have more English players than Non English?
Does Non English players in the PL team mean success (top 6 teams)?
You don't have to look far for the answers!
Really enjoyed your blogs.
Some great points and nice to have a sensible discussion. I think we are all on the same wave length. Clearly not all the players performed, but my reason for criticising Hodgson more than the players is that man for man I don't think the players we had out are so much worse than the Italian counterparts....there are of course exceptions. Italy (and others! Ukraine!! surely man for man Hodgson thinks we are better than them........but the same basic set up was employed) were able to look so superior because of the time and space they were given (by Hodgson's tactics). Look at Pirol, we all know he is a class act, so why give him all the time and space that he had? Why didn't we try to close him down...ruffel his feathers...go man on man to see what happened.....we did nothing but sit back and watch him pull all the strings for Italy. We were quite happy to defend in the last quarter of the pitch. If you are going to give up 3/4 of the pitch it s difficult for anyone (other than the back 4) to play, particularly with Carroll unable to unable to give us an out because of he lack of basic skills. His first touch is embarrassing for a professional footballer. He cannot hold the ball up.
So I am still very unhappy with Hodgson (I just didn't see anything that had me believe that he had any ideas to improve when things were clearing going pear shaped) and I believe that while he is the manager we will just see more of the same..........because that is all he knows. I hope I am wrong
I will tell you why the knockers are out, because Hodgson did not (contrary to the Hodgson/FA PR team ) perform well. England are/were ranked 6th in the world. That is what Hodgson inherited. Only 3 teams in Europe above us. That position was achieved with the players he had available (OK I accept there were a few injuries) Look at what we achieved.............couldn't beat a poor France team.......lucky win against Sweden and a very lucky win against Ukraine and a good beating from Italy.
Hodgson only knows one way to play and that is to park the bus and hope for a lucky break. What did he do to try to control Pirlo (he knew how good he was from his Milan days)? The answer is nothing...let him have the park to play in.....You mention no creativity in mid field, .......he picked work horses, not creativity.....Milner before Walcott everytime???? You mention the attack....yes Rooney was disappointing (always a risk after his lay off, ) but Hodgson picked Carroll (instead of the proven Crouch who can hold the ball up for you and give you an out when you win the ball) who was always going to be a waste of space. I could go on!
Despite the above I do agree with a lot of you blog, but I am afraid that as long as we have Hodgson as manager we will see just more of the same.
Phuket, I agree with most of what you say, but....
Hodgson must take all the blame.
But why are we suprised? With Hodgson what you see is what you will get......and we will continue to get that negative spineless attitude (from him, not the palyers) for as long as he is manager.
I thought this guy worked with Pirlo when he was at Milan?????, everyone knew that he was their play maker. What did Hodgson do to deal with him........well he gave him the freedom of the park and watched as he totally controlled the game. And even as that was happening before our eyes what did Hodgson do.....Nothing other that wait and hope we would win the shoot out.
So the knockers gather to complain and deliver their negative verdicts on Hodgson. Why? What were you expecting? There were huge disappointments in the performances of some of the players, but with the lack of talent available , so many young players unavailable through injury, - Cleverly, Wilshire etc and a quarter of the squad effectively out through injury, Hodgsons choice had become Hobsons choice.
And, as he should , he had to play to his teams strengths. And reading some of these comments I wonder what planet some of the writers are living on.
Before the tournament many were criticising Terry's selection, me amongst the loudest. He was magnificent. He flung himself at everything, passed well, and with Lescott formed a concrete barrier that didn't get penetrated for two hours. The whole back four and keeper would rate selection in any of the remaining squads in the semi finals. Gerrard played out of his skin; his best sustained performance I can remember; Scott Parker was a total professional who delivered committment , courage and more than a little skill and ran himself into the ground for the team.
And the team spirit wasa great. They were more together as a unit than I can remember for the last fifteen years, and ran themselves ragged for their Country. And that, in no small measure, was down to Hodgson, someone else who's appointment I'd criticised..
What we did not have, because there isn't the players around to be selected, was a creative midfield, and any sort of quality attack. There the word disappointing would be a compliment. And this was pretty clear from the first match so Hodgson had to use the tactics he did. And to hold a more gifted opponent for two hours and then lose out by one goal in a penalty shoot out, would seem to indicate he got it right. And to be fair, if we'd converted the chances we'd had in the first half we could have stolen the game despite the fact that Italy were demonstrably the better side
If you expect England to have the playing skills of Spain you'd better start shouting at the FA to get their youth training programmes sorted and focussed on skill development instead of junior league football. Then, like Spain, be prepared to wait ten years to see the results coming through, because the way its structured at the moment England is not going to produce these skills. But what this team proved is that England has at least produced a group of players who were proud to play for their Country and give everything they were able to the task.
And I, for one, was bloody proud of them for that. And I've not been able to say that for ten years either
But for the Club supporters watching, I'd have thought that Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool fans would be looking forward to next season , and Man United's would be hoping that their present transfer activity is going to be successful.
"England are/were ranked 6th in the world"
Which either proves the unreliability of the rankings or gives a measure of the gap between six and five. But before this championship no one in their right mind would have ranked England ahead of Spain , Portugal, Germany, Argentina and Brazil, and you'd have been questioned if you'd put us ahead of France and Italy; maybe even Russia.
I agree with you about Crouch, though - an infinitely more rounded player than Carroll and every bit as capable of hurting an opposition defence. I can never understand why he's ignored by the FA's selectors.
As far as Miner and Walcott were concerned I suspect he went for consistency. You get one good game from Theo but its often followed by two of utter dross and Milner gave Parker mid field cover. Theo was brilliant in his first substitue role and as far as I can remember never touched the ball in his second
Bull Dog Spirit is as usless as it sounds to these overpaid ****.
The Olympics I assume will also be a joke - be aware we are NOT world beaters.
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