Heads up: Top comment and controversy

Debate: What's wrong with the England Football Team?

Football is one of the great exceptions to the grand tradition of English pessimism. Every four years this is tried and tested at the World Cup, and proven all over again. That said, this time things looked like they could be different. For the first time in recent memory, expectations seemed to be set at a rational level (low).

Yet even with the lowest of expectations, England have managed to lose their first two games, and that’s never happened at a World Cup before. So what’s wrong with our boys? After last night’s 2-1 defeat by Uruguay, here are four reasons doing the rounds this morning

No star players

In both their defeats, England were unravelled by two players: Italy’s Pirlo and Uruguay’s Suarez. Is there anyone in the England squad who can single-handedly shape the outcome of a match in the same way? Rooney has always seemed like the answer, but as The Telegraph’s Jeremy Wilson writes: “Sport is about seizing your chances when it matters. Luis Suárez showed that when he so clinically finished two of his chances. Rooney, for all his industry, threat and even a goal, fell narrowly the other side of that knife-edge.”

 

 

Everything right except the football

Perhaps the most depressing thing about England’s departure is just how advanced - and yet fruitless - their set-up is off the pitch. As The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor writes: “England have a 72-strong entourage from the Football Association including a psychiatrist, nutritionists, a turf specialist, a cook and at least one guy whose job seems to be to spray the players with water when they start overheating.” And yet they still can’t beat Uruguay.

A lack of foresight and preparation

The only surprise on last night’s scoresheet was Wayne Rooney. How could the team not have been fully prepared for the world-class Suarez?  “This defeat, with Luis Suarez allowed to trample all over England’s defence, hurts more than any other because we could all see it coming,” writes Neil Ashton for the Daily Mail.

Our very own Ian Herbert couldn't believe it either. “The goalscorer who has probably ended England’s World Cup was the most predictable one in the tournament. His threat will have been analysed 100 times. And still Luis Suarez cleaved open England’s central defence. Again and then again.”

Roy Hodgson needs to go

With top players like Sturridge, Gerrard and Sterling, the manager has to take the blame, the Metro has argued on their blog.  “Having now guided England to two opening World Cup defeats for the first time in their history, Hodgson says he won’t quit. Liverpool fans won’t be surprised. He said the same when he was at Anfield and took them to the relegation zone.”

 

Do you think Hodgson should resign? Let us know by taking our poll.

@maxwellbenwell

React Now

Read Next
Dame Maggie Smith stars in Downtown Abbey as Countess Violet  

We need to see Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon on stage again

David Lister
Women in India protest against rape and other attacks on women and girls in the country.  

India is ready for the truth about its shocking state of gender equality — but its politicians aren’t

Manveena Suri
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable