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

News
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
i100
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Sport
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
tv
News
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Extras
indybest
News
i100... and no one notices
Arts and Entertainment
Friends reunited: Julian Ovenden, Richard Cant and Matt Bardock in rehearsals for the Donmar revival of 'My Night
with Reg'
theatrePoignancy of Kevin Elyot's play being revived just after his death
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor