World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson 'got it wrong', says Gary Lineker on England tactics

The former England striker has given another frank assessment of Roy Hodgson's side

Gary Lineker thinks England manager Roy Hodgson got his tactics completely wrong at the World Cup.

In a frank assessment of England's "humiliating" exit, the former striker also criticised Steven Gerrard for a supposed lack of organisation in the 2-1 defeat to Italy.

Hodgson may have received the backing of the Football Association despite England's fastest ever World Cup finals exit, but the criticism of the 66-year-old continues from outside the camp.

Lineker said he "admired" the way Hodgson blooded some young players in Brazil, but the 80-cap striker hit out at Hodgson over his tactics.

"Personally, I think Roy got it wrong," Lineker told Blahzil.com. "The system that suits this kind of England better, with the lack of experience in it, is probably a 4-3-3.

"He tried to just play with two players in the centre of midfield. In the first game I thought it was better because he had (Raheem) Sterling behind (Daniel) Sturridge, and that gave us three because Sterling is more of a natural midfield player, certainly than (Wayne) Rooney. But I just think it is too big an ask for just two central midfield players and once again we were outnumbered.

"The problem with this 4-2-3-1 is that it very quickly becomes a 4-4-2 or at least a 4-4-1-1 and we end up with flat lines and people getting between us. I think we would have been better - and I said this before the tournament - with three midfield players because you've got to give yourself a chance defensively."

 

Lineker described England's early exit as a "humiliation".

That would not have been the case if captain Gerrard was a better organiser of his players, according to Lineker.

"Steven Gerrard, wonderful player that he is, has always been an individual in many ways," the former Tottenham striker said.

"He's not really a player that can organise or spot problems. He didn't spot the danger on England's left side in the first game, which was pretty obvious after a few attempts.

"We don't have the players who can spot something and deal with it. In my era we had Terry Butcher, Ray Wilkins and Bryan Robson - players who could spot problems on the pitch and that is something that is missing from this crop."

Referring to Gerrard's accidental flick-on that led to Uruguay's winner in Sao Paulo, Lineker added: "It was a schoolboy error that saw England finally go home with that dreadful second goal for Luis Suarez."

Luis Suarez consoles Steven Gerrard after England’s defeat against Uruguay Luis Suarez consoles Steven Gerrard after England’s defeat against Uruguay  

Lineker also said the "old guard" in the squad - presumably meaning Gerrard and Frank Lampard - are "past their best".

And the 53-year-old also hit out at England's defence for not doing enough to stop Italy and Uruguay.

"Defensively we were not good enough," he said.

"It was always the fear before the tournament that we were lightweight at the back with little depth, neither of the full-backs were defensively-minded full-backs."

Lineker said the only positive thing to come out of the tournament was that the youngsters in the squad had gained some valuable tournament experience.

"You admire him (Hodgson) in many ways for giving youngsters a chance," England's second-highest goalscorer said.

"I applaud the fact that he had a go and that's what we all asked for wasn't it, that he played faster, positive football, so we can't complain too much."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future