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Naive performance as Hodgson sends Lions to get slaughtered

| 20.06.2014

The Three Lions looked more like XI lion cubs against Uruguay, after the South Americans left them needing nothing short of a miracle to progress from Group D.

Much had been made about the strength and excitement of England’s youthful, vibrant attack, yet it was Uruguay by contrast that only needed one striker who made all the difference. A striker who was half-fit.

Luis Suarez, perhaps contentiously struck the winning goal for the South Americans, after replays showed him to be offside. The match was done with by then. From the kick-off, England looked too scared to play. Unlike the blistering start against Italy, which saw Raheem Sterling crash a long-range thunderous effort at lightning pace, agonizingly wide of goal in the first minute, it was Uruguay who stole the initiative.

Honest, England were. Nice guys, yes. Throw naivety into the mix, and it explains exactly why Roy Hodgson’s team are about to be eliminated from the World Cup. Compared to Italy, England cannot adapt to different situations. If they need to score goals they play attacking football.

Should they need to defend a lead, they are more than equipped to do so, as they showed against the Three Lions. The Azzurri would have more than complied to the kind of hitman job that Hodgson and his coaching staff should have instructed the team to complete on Suarez.

Against Costa Rica without him, Uruguay had nothing. England, by contrast to other teams, aren’t ruthless enough and lack the killer instinct. Gone are the days when the likes of Jack Charlton would take one for the team to ensure a player of Suarez’s quality wasn’t allowed to make an impact on the game.

Every team that has achieved success has been ruthless, and most crucially knows when to be. The Three Lions however, rolled over and allowed Uruguay to rub their bellies, tamed by a half-fit Suarez who was there for the taking.

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Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.