FIFA World Cup 2014: What went wrong with the Brits

DC | AMEYA TILAK
Published Jun 20, 2014, 4:02 pm IST
Updated Apr 1, 2019, 12:06 am IST
Suarez, lack of innovation and Gerrard's blunder led to England's downfall
While Steven Gerrard had a brilliant EPL season with Liverpool, his failure to do well for England at the World Cup has not served him and his national team well. Photo: AFP
 While Steven Gerrard had a brilliant EPL season with Liverpool, his failure to do well for England at the World Cup has not served him and his national team well. Photo: AFP

Mumbai: Mathematics, calculations and results of the other games in the group, England will hope that everything of it will turn in their favour as they aim to reach the round of 16 after another below-par performance in the biggest footbaling tournament, World Cup.

While some may blame it for England’s ‘club greater than national team’ approach, there are a few other reasons that put England on brink of elimination following their loss against Uruguay.

Gerrard’s blunder:

Steven Gerrard had everything going for him as England faced Uruguay. He was in his preferred playing position, leading the team and having the team that he wanted. Nonetheless, he faltered. He was not the same man who played a solid role in Liverpool’s super campaign in recently concluded EPL season.

He made some ill-timed and ill-placed passes, As many experts pointed out, Gerrard was a key reason as Uraguay scored two goals against England.

Right before the World Cup began, England skipper commented that no excuse would justify England’s poor show at the World Cup in Brazil. Hence, it would be interesting to see what Gerrard has to say if England eventually bow out of Brazil with another lacklustre display on the biggest stage.

Rooney shines but what about others:

Raheer Sterling was tipped to outdo Rooney in a game against Uruguay. But that did not happen as Uruguayan defenders choked him out reducing his and England’s efficiency a great deal. Rooney, on the other hand, once again sent a reminder why he is England’s best attacking option in spite of his temperamental issues.

While Sturridge put up his hand and tried his best, his compatriot Danny Welbeck could not create any impact as he was once again ineffective on the wings. While Ross Barkley looked really good, his late introduction on the field of play did not help England much.

Hodgson’s lack of innovation:

While Hodgson was brought in to change England’s national team’s fortunes a great deal, his spell as England boss did not help the Three Lions. Since the time he took over the reigns, he has opted for ‘defence over offence’ strategy.

 

His preference for safe play over a little risky but potentially match-winning strategy put England in a position wherein they think of ‘not losing’ instead of ‘winning’ the game. And when they face a more attacking opponent, this strategy falls flat.

Failure to tackle Suarez:

It was known that Luis Suarez was not at his best when it came to fitness. But England made no efforts to pin him down. In fact, they looked threatened to come in Suarez’s way. He was not in a best physical shape and England could have easily cashed in by getting a bit physical without getting a card for themselves.

 

As ugly the approach would have been, it would have helped England to reduce Uruguay’s goal scoring chances. But that did not happen and Suarez, although was not fully fit, went on to score both the goals that helped Uruguay beat England.

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