Former captain Alan Shearer described England’s Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Iceland as the “worst performance” he has ever seen from the national team.
Manager Roy Hodgson announced his resignation after his side lost 2-1 at the last-16 stage in Nice on Monday.
Despite taking the lead through Wayne Rooney’s fourth-minute penalty, Hodgson’s side lost to a nation ranked 34th in the world – and with a population of just 330,000.
Ex-striker Shearer, 45, who won 63 caps, told BBC’s Match of the Day that England were “tactically inept”, and another former England skipper, Rio Ferdinand, said the display was “embarrassing”.
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‘We were totally hopeless’
Alan Shearer: “That was the worst performance I’ve ever seen from an England team. Ever.
“We were out-fought, out-thought, out-battled and totally hopeless for 90 minutes. I said after the three group games that England weren’t good enough – I didn’t see enough.
“It looked to me like Roy was making it up as he was going along. It was tactically inept.
“How can he pick Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere? We had players in the squad who didn’t deserve to be there. Manchester City’s winger Raheem Sterling hasn’t performed. We can go on and on. Then there was Tottenham striker Harry Kane on corners – the list is endless.
“Our players caved tonight. We’ve all played under pressure, they caved and the manager caved. He gave Manchester United teenage striker Marcus Rashford four minutes and he still did more than anyone else.
“We are blinded by the Premier League, we think it’s the best in the world for talent, it’s not. We are totally reliant for foreign players and managers for excitement. We are not as good as we think we are.”
Rio Ferdinand: “That was embarrassing.
“If you get into a tournament and don’t know your best team or formation, you run into trouble.
“One of the biggest problems of not knowing the best England team, aside from best players or shape, is there is no philosophy. Against Iceland there was no finesse and no inventiveness.
“I was excited by this England team going into the tournament. Qualifying was so easy. I didn’t expect us to win the tournament, but I expected with the young players present for there to be the vibrancy of previous matches. But that was gone.
“We’ve played a formation every game with two wide men and a frontman. How many actual wingers were on the plane?”
Former England winger Chris Waddle on BBC Radio 5 live: “They’ve not turned up. They go 1-0 up but then concede a Sunday morning goal.
“We haven’t got leaders – they’re all pampered, they’re all headphones and you can’t get anything out of them.
“I would never pay to watch Iceland but they’ve got great camaraderie. England will now say we’re building a team for Qatar, and then we’ll be building a team for Timbuktu.”
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Shearer on the first Iceland goal, scored by Ragnar Sigurdsson from a long throw-in: “What is England assistant Gary Neville doing? He is one of the best defenders we have had.
“Surely they have worked on set-pieces all week? We knew what Iceland were going to do.
“For the second goal there is no pressure on the ball at all – no marking, no organisation, no leader. That was embarrassing.
“Keeper Joe Hart should save it, but his defenders should do a lot more.”
Ferdinand: “England would have seen Iceland on throw-ins. For the first goal it was the second ball we should have moved towards in order to clean up.
“Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker (who went to try to stop Sigurdsson) is good going forward, but defensively there are questions.
“I tell you what was was most alarming about the second goal – no communication. There was static defending, waiting for someone else to step up.”
Shearer: “Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge doesn’t want to play on the right – he’s a striker.
“We are putting players in positions where you don’t play. We have got to pick players who are in form, we have done that for years and years.
“It’s not for the manager to be loyal. It cannot be right that by the fourth game of the tournament you are still scrambling around looking for the best players and systems.”
Credit for Iceland
Former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas: “I thought that was Iceland’s easiest game of the tournament.
“They seemed to want it a lot more, they were stronger in the tackle. They were fully committed and working for each other. They gave England no space, no time.”
Ferdinand: “That was throwback football with two forwards up front, an old, rigid 4-4-2. People say you can’t play a 4-4-2 any more, but these guys showed they can.
“The way Iceland manager Lars Lagerback spoke prior to the game, he knew his team would get chances.”
Shearer: “Iceland were outstanding, every single one of them. They fought for their team.”
Who’s the right person for the England job?
Shearer: “I went to see the Football Association four or five years ago and said I want the England job, they looked at me and said, ‘no, you haven’t got the experience’.
“I said you have hired experienced managers, spent a fortune on them and I could not have done any worse.
“I would speak to the FA now, definitely. I’d offer my experience, tournament experience. Even if Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate [the bookies’ favourite for the role] gets it.”
Ferdinand: “We’ve gone for ultimate experience, we’ve gone for foreign managers. We’ve now got to go for a young, dynamic manager who knows the young players coming through.
“There’s not a person out there that would say no. Anyone worth their weight in gold would take it.”
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