Updated: 26/06/2012 07:50 | By pa.press.net

Gerrard: Passing game must improve

Steven Gerrard says England need to work harder at retaining the ball

Steven Gerrard says England need to work harder at retaining the ball

Captain Steven Gerrard admitted England had not played the best football at Euro 2012 and needed to work harder at retaining the ball following the quarter-final penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy.

The Azzurri dominated possession and hit the post twice, and although England were able to keep them at bay for 120 minutes, the failure of Ashley Young and Ashley Cole to convert their shoot-out kicks led to an another last-eight exit for England.

Gerrard said: "At times the football hasn't been fantastic, we haven't blown people away. The possession stats speak for themselves. Moving forward as a nation we do need to improve with the ball."

Despite the less-than-impressive performance, Gerrard was happy he and his colleagues had not come up short for effort.

"Everyone has given everything they've got and that's all you can ask for," he added. "I think the supporters will agree with me that we have played for the shirt."

But Gerrard stressed: "I think we've performed to a better level at this competition than in previous tournaments."

Gerrard is keen to continue as captain and also said he was happy with his own individual performance in the tournament.

He added : "I think performance-wise I'm reasonably satisfied. I'm just in a zone of frustration and disappointment because we've come so close to ending that quarter-final hoodoo."

Gerrard was given the captaincy by Hodgson and the Liverpool midfielder revelled in the role, and he said: "I've loved it, I've loved the responsibility and I've enjoyed every minute of it."

Hodgson has also been happy with Gerrard's captaincy. Gerrard said: "I've had a brief chat with the manager, I'm available as long as I'm wanted at this level. The manager has told me he wants me to continue and carry on."

25/06/2012 16:19
Drop Rooney, he'll never bring us glory, had his day...and why wasn't Ashley Young replaced down the left, he was rubbish on the night! Not saying this would have won us the game, but anyone could see that was needed. 

Oh well, looking ahead to 2014 in Brazil...more of the same no doubt, and more of the same excuses too...all getting little boring really!! I don't mind losing, just wish we would lose after putting in a half decent performance...last night was mind-boggling...WHY CAN'T WE PASS THE BLOODY BALL AND CREATE ANGLES etc...like I say...mind-boggling!! 
25/06/2012 15:45
I'm not a liverpool fan but i am a big fan of Steven Gerrard.. He is probably the best player England has right now.. It is stating the blatantly obvious though when he says "we need to improve"... EVERYONE has been saying that since 2000...after every tournament its "we need to improve"... its getting really boring now.. England wont improve.. there is somethng about these very talented individuals that keeps them from shining when they get put together.. maybe its pressure? not sure. ENGLANDS BEST cant compete.. fans ARENT happy about that stevie
Football is supposed to be a working mans game as a working man myself I  do not want to hear the crap about being tired . I am not going to bother slagging of the England team because watching the game last night I know they give It their all but the fact remains we are no where near good enough the proof was there last night in the performance .
25/06/2012 15:38

The truth is that we dont learn to play football the right way from an early age. Every kid just plays with play stations and gadgets. When they go to play football, they have big goal posts in playgrounds, so it is more tempting to shoot for goal than to develop skills which take you past opponents. Those skills are the skills required to dominate games and tire out the opposition but we always encourage our kids to shoot for goal and punt the ball forward. If that is the way we want to develop our football, we should not complain whenever we get totally dominated by footballing sides.


Even in the premiership, the commentators always talk more about grit and determination than to applaud proper talentt/skill. Until we get those things right, there will always just be the usual noise and no trophies. Does anyone ever notice how quick the media is to label average English players as world class? Yes we have a vibrant media which does help but it also leaves us blinkered and masked away from reality. Sky sports commentators are always "bigging" up the below par players.

25/06/2012 15:33

As much as i love Stevie G, how many times have we herd 'we just didn´t show are best'? EVERY BLOODY COMPETITION!


What is wrong?, is it down to coaching techniques?, do our football managers in the UK lack serious technical frames of mind unlike our other European countries? or do we just not have the class of players we need to compete? 

25/06/2012 15:21
ronaldo has played 70 games this season & look at him play,he,s not complaining,? gerrard finally admitted our game was,nt good enough.now at least we can start to rebuild the mindset of players, plenty of 5 a side will help,passing, passing, in a tight enviroment will be a start. there is no hoodoo about it gerrard,we just cant take penalties & our techinal skills need an overhaul asap.back to basic,s.
25/06/2012 15:53

Was Gutted last night and still am today, but am proud of our boys out there. Roy has only been in charge for a month and he has instilled a togetherness and pride for the 3 lions and we did better than many thought we would. The future looks a little brighter but there is a lot of work to be done.

We miss a player like Pirlo someone who can control the game but the whole passing game needs to be improved as well as our stamina as we tired way before the Italians.

With what Roy has acheived in a month we can all now look to the future with a bit more promise, but if they get tired so easily in the 'heat' of Poland just wait till they play in Brazil, they will be crawling off the pitch at half time.

25/06/2012 16:34

So it would seem England has finally learn't what Arsene Wenger has been trying to promote at Arsenal for the past 15 years. Took you idiots long enough to figure it out!

I've been saying it for years now, English football will continue to be the laughing stock of the footballing world until you start to encourage the development of skillfull technically gifted players comfortable on the ball and a passing game instead of the usual defensive minded physical cloggers and donkeys that seem to be the norm in the EPL.

25/06/2012 14:26
4-4-2, +    Rooney clumping about like he is inside a cardboard box  = Home early.
25/06/2012 16:19

Oh well the lads gave it their all but just were'nt good enough....England player's need to learn to use their heads more at this level and be more savvy when on the field.....The top international teams play football like a game chess, once they've passed the ball their already thinking about their next positional move, making sure their team mate in possession of the ball has plenty of options to pass it to....When England player passes the ball he feel's his job is done and is not thinking of his position to receive the ball, meaning less options for the player  in possession hence why we keep losing the ball......of course the game in England is played at such speed there is a limited time to think when on and of the ball, so it become's difficult for the player's to adjust to the international of slyte.......We as fans love the high octane football played in the premership but there's a flip side to that as witnessed yesterday.......The player's gave it their all and for me done the country proud!!!!!!

25/06/2012 15:46
Damn straight England need to sort their passing game out. This is what they do for a living day in day out, how is it they couldn't string together more than 5 passes and not complete 5 yard passes. That was the worst England performance for a long time, and that's saying somthing. Can't blame Roy Hodgsen though, FA took to long to appoint him, and he didn't get a real chance to set the team up as he would have liked.
25/06/2012 19:12
Don't think alot of people will like what i have to say here , but here is the truth of it !!!!!   (, im welsh and in wales the priority is having a top national rugby team and we are well on the way to achieving that ), if ENGLAND's priority is their national  football side , young ENGLISH lads need to be able to find a place in the top sides in england, but when the top sides are full of every nationality under the sun , what chance has your national side got ???? no chance that's what , !! England has the 2nd biggest amount of registered  professional footballers in the world ,  behind Brazil , so there are fundamental reasons as to how they are unable to gain success on the international stage ! I wish england luck in achieving their goal but at present i cant see it happening for some considerable time , as the premier league is more powerful than the ENGLISH .F.A !!!!!!!! due to the revenue that it brings in through the media coverage it gets ! Time for a few steps back , to constructively move forward , or you be talking about 1966 in 2066 !
25/06/2012 14:52
For England to gain the patience and composure to play a passing game that would work in a major tournament (which are always held in the middle of summer - resulting in our players always looking exhausted in the second half) someone would have to educate English football out of its obssession with pace. I don't see how this will happen whilst the Premier League TV rights make so much money precisely because everyone finds our "blood & thunder" matches so entertaining. On Saturday the commentary team for the Spain v France match discussed the notion that Spain are "boring" because they are so good at patiently holding onto possession and wearing the opposition down. Says it all!
25/06/2012 14:11
why let ashley cole take a penalty when andy carroll is standing there ready to blast a one in??? ashley young,theo walcott,james milner,all average players with false hype they just dont cut it in the england squad.as for the oldies well its time to bite the bullet and let them go bye bye terry gerrard lampard parker ,come on roy get some new blood in the team with a bit of pride?????
25/06/2012 22:04
passing game needs to improve "NO **** SHERLOCK" 23 million viewers had came to that conclussion 15 minutes into the game.
25/06/2012 19:59
it makes no difference where you apply your craft if your good enough or young enough you play them.we need to change the whole concept of our english game.there is no more excuses,managers,footballers are in a envious position,but we fans are not stupid,& we know better than some of these footballers think.its us who pay their wages & this is how they repay us.we have been let down for a very long time now,to be honest lve lost interest watching our national team,l like watching spain,germany,portugal,even italy made us look 2nd rate,we,ve let these foreigners into our league but we have,nt progressed our techinal skills to match them.?
25/06/2012 16:48
The first thing for our team to learn is " stay the hell out of the night clubs " spend more time on the pitch practicing and pay attention because you are not as good as you think you are. Time for our managers to sort out who can and cannot really play football, who has and who hasn't got a football mind and there are many of them.
25/06/2012 20:31
Passing game needs to improve! What a load of nonsense, some of these players are nearing the end of their careers and they state the passing has to improve. Been watching this rubbish english style for years and now they want to improve the passing game. Sack em all and get the local pub teams to play for my lovely England because the half drunk, overweight lads can pass the ball and tackle better then these set of overpaid losers who bring nothing but their show off lifestyles to the game of football. You play with your heart or is it we play for the wallet. Maybe they want to improve their passing so they an **** some chinese or American team to pay these bunch of wasted losers. Bring back the legends of '66 and watch how those men played with pride to make us the best team in the world, not the laughing stock of the world like these moronic lot are doing. Let our women's team play as they are more passionate and can pass the ball. No more excuses, just sack the lot of them
25/06/2012 16:24
just to note.. Italy werent good enough either.. they couldnt score against a very poor england side. they'll get their ar ses handed to them by Germany.
25/06/2012 20:15

So what if its a global sport , its been global for 80 years or more ! Go back 15 / 20 years how many english ( &welsh / irish ) boys plied their trade in Italy , Spain , Germany , France !!!!!! quite a few ,,, why ???? Because they were talented footballers and wanted to improve their understanding of the game and to become even  better players , which they all did , LINEKAR , PLATT , INCE , WADDLE , HUGHES , RUSH ,HATELY ,McMANAMAN , R.KEANE ,BECKHAM ,  !!! how many today  ????????????? personally i cant think of 1 , not 1 ( OH ! joe cole sorry joe, forgot youve been in france , allways on the sub bench for LILLE ! ),, , the reason now is they dont want the english ( british )boys , they are not good enough ,( sorry Gareth Bale , didnt mean you ! ) ! Mentaly they are not strong enough ! ( also very few have got the bottle to do it ! ) so your national side has some seriously strong decisions to find answers to , ! GOOD LUCK WITH IT !

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