Five Things: England v Uruguay

Clive Rose

So, we're all pretty down after watching that, Dan tries to formulate his rage and sadness into words, for y'all

1 - Roy Hodgson

My feelings are very mixed on our manager. For me, he wasn't bold enough with his substitutions or with changing his tactics. It was clear after the first half that Gerrard, was completely hopeless in a midfield two, he simply doesn't have the legs to play in a double-pivot anymore and needs protection from two midfielders either side of him, for him to be able to control the tempo of the game and do what he's been doing for Liverpool last season (not assisting Suarez). But, Hodgson didn't change it.

I can understand why he didn't want to take of his captain - even though in my opinion he should have, due to him looking so laboured in the middle and not being able to bring the play forward - but if he wasn't prepared to do that, then he should have changed the system to bring someone else in along side him, so he isn't left exposed and Henderson isn't completely occupied with covering him.

He also came out with a ludicrous comment pre-match saying: "Suarez is yet to show greatness." Even if that is his true opinion (which would make me even more worried) why on Earth would you say it? You've just given the deadliest striker in the world, even more of a reason to want to score past you, on the biggest stage in the world. And low and behold.

But, then this is where my feelings get split. I do believe that Hodgson has tried to make England play the right way, he's moved us away from a 442, long ball team with Heskey upfront, and tried to make us more of a passing, possession based side.

The problems with that is, it's not in our culture to be a passing side, we're not brought up to be a passing side; and he finally got England to play a 4231, when football had already moved on, with three players in midfield instead of two, being a much more viable way to beat teams. And if you are going to play with two central midfielders, they need to be mobile, robust and aggressive.

He was also extremely brave with his squad selection, he took several youngsters and unproven players, when he easily could have left them at home with out much criticism; he also selected the side that a lot of people called for. The players were just not up to it.

Ultimately, he's an average manager of an average side, and no manager of any potential is going to come anywhere near this job, being the poisoned chalice it is.

2 - It's time Gerrard retired

Yes, he's had a great season for Liverpool, but Steven Gerrard, should retire from international football after we're put out of our misery. As I've said, he was in a position not suited best for him, but if he can't adapt to different systems and formations, then what is the point? I personally don't think we should be sacrificing an attacking player, just to accommodate a player, who will always revert to a late challenge and hollywood passes when his side are losing. To me, he just looks so slow and uncomfortable when playing, he used to rampage past players and now he can hardly move. It's quite sad.

I won't blame him completely for Uruguay's winner, even though it was his pathetic header which sent Suarez through, Jagielka did come stupidly high up the pitch, leaving a massive gap for Suarez to exploit, but I feel he has really hindered and held back England this tournament. It's time to move forward.

3 - The Defence

The defence was so hopelessly poor and if it wasn't for the valiant effort of Gary Cahill, we'd have been beaten handily.

For the first goal, Glen Johnson decided to instead of force Cavani down the outside, he'd let him cut inside to play a delightful, flighted pass towards Suarez, whom Jagielka had let go right past him, pathetic. Jagielka didn't shower himself in glory for the second goal either, when he came far too high, for no real reason, leaving a massive gap in the backline.

Baines has also been very poor all tournament and looked miles out of depth defensively. He looked a tad better in the second half when he was able to get some crosses in from the left, but hardly redeeming himself.

And I love Baines.

I would have taken Cole to the tournament, I know he hasn't played nearly enough football recently, and it is super hypocritical to beg for an England manager who will pick players based on form not name, then ask for the opposite, but I still feel he's England's best left back. His experience alone would have helped a lot more than Baines, who just to me, seemed so nervous and doubtful through out.

I wouldn't have taken Terry however, he has had a great season, but on a personal level I don't like players coming out of international retirement for the competition. Pragmatically I wouldn't have taken him because Cahill and Jagielka were the centre back pairing for most of the qualifying and it would have been stupid to change it so late.

The only thing to really do with the defence now is blood in the likes of Stones and Shaw, as soon as possible, and for the love of god, find someone else instead of Glen Johnson.

4 - The performance itself

The most damming and heartbreaking thing for me, is that we seemed to have no urgency, no fight, no belief that we could do it, and it turned out to be a self fore filling prophecy.

We were so predictable and narrow with our attacks, the Uruguayan midfield hounded out our attacking players as soon as they touched the ball, and they could do nothing. Arevalo Rios, was absolutely outstanding, he won everything in the middle and England just didn't learn their lesson from it.

The one time we did show a bit of creativity and attacked Uruguay on the wings, where they were weakest, with pace, we scored from it. Unfortunately, we didn't continue to do that.

5 - We have to go for it

Even if we still have a chance of qualification by the time we play Costa Rica, or not, we have to go for it against them. Hodgson has to be bold, he has to start with the youngsters who got the game going momentarily in England's direction. He can't play with the same side again and just expect them to break down Costa Rica with slow build up play, because it won't work. We have to go at them with pace and vigour and we might just do it. Plus, I don't want to watch another piss poor, boring England performance, I want to see us go down with pride and actually play some football.

The team I'd love to see: Hart; Johnson, Cahill, Jones, Shaw; Wilshere, Henderson; Serling, Barkley, Lallana; Sturridge.

What are your thoughts and opinions on the game? Either comment below or tweet me @Murboski, and we'll talk.

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