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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz