Full-backs cost England - Video Highlights [updated]

As expected England lost to a more intelligent Italy side, the only surprise being they managed to score a goal.





With England having sub standard defenders at the World Cup conceding goals was always going to be a problem. The first Italian goal was a long shot that it took the defence an eternity to try to close down that then went through legs and past players who basically left the shot for someone else.

A defender like John Terry or the much derided Michael Dawson, and I'm not saying for one minute he should be there, would never have let the ball past, they would have got something in the way. This lot simply half heartedly stuck out a leg. It's that winning attitude that England missed at that vital moment, where was the thou shalt not pass attitude? It's the same attitude Spurs missed last season.

Italy scored from a long ranged effort, we simply put ours wide or over the bar. Look at the Pirlo free kick, the only one he had I think, he hit the bar. Our free kicks, Gerrard put his well over the bar and Leighton Baines put his well wide. That sums up the difference in the sides. One has the mentality to handle the pressure when required, one doesn't.

I wrote in my group assessment that England didn't have a decent defender and Leighton Baines showed once again why he isn't an international left-back. Fine going forward but a hopeless defender. He combined with the player who has given away more England goals by being out of position than any one English defender in history, Glen Johnson.

Watching you could see exactly what was going to happen before it did, Baines easily sold a dummy taking himself totally out of the game, I don't remember either Italian fyull-back being sold such a comprehensive dummy. Balotelli waiting at the far post, Glen Johnson not interested in defending nowhere to be seen.

A quality cross, came over.

Plenty of running, plenty of endeavour, but how many shots did their reserve keeper have to save? How many shots from inside the area? We had hurried long range efforts.

Italy score from a well worked corner, England simply pump corners for the keeper to catch. Set pieces are a vital part of the game and we were hopeless at taking them and defending them.

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The one player deserving of praise was Gary Cahill. I'm no fan of his but he stood up to be counted.

Jack 'Blind Alley' Wilshire lived up to his name by trying to take on everyone himself rather than pass the ball but then he was playing with a bunch of teammates he doesn't know, such is England's ability not to have a settled side going into a tournament.

Quite why Wayne Rooney was tucked out the way on the left only Roy 'I'm only boss to save the FA money' Hodgson will know. He hasn't found a system in qualifying so he was never going to find one now.

This will be an experience to learn from as they say. The squad has not been picked for this World Cup but in preparation for the European Championships in 2016 and the World Cup in 2018. By then these players will have some experience under their belt and will hopefully have a system they know how to play better.

The bottom line in any game is what you do with the ball. Italy exposed two of our weaknesses when they had it, we exposed their vulnerability to a fast counter attack once. When they stopped us doing that we had no plan B.




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