I would do an analysis, but honestly, what’s the point? Everything that could be said will be said in the mainstream media, and no doubt for many months to come.
I predicted England would go out in the last 16 in a BBC Sport poll done before the tournament stated. I wish I had put money on it to compensate for the hours spent watching England’s toothless performances that I will never get back.
Now don’t get me wrong. I had long ago given up an emotional connection with England. They can disappoint you only so many times before you stop having expectations. Nowadays, I wish them well and hope they do justice to themselves. And when they don’t – it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t surprise. I can discuss their travails with detachment.
So, the only thing that interests me is curiosity about the preparation and decision making. All I have are questions. Because I am truly baffled by how the England set-up works – or rather doesn’t work. So here goes:
- How can England go into a major tournament not knowing their best team?
- How can England go into a major tournament not knowing their best formation?
- Why after previous bad experiences do we persist in taking unfit/injured players?
- Why after previous bad experiences do we persist in taking out of form players?
- Why after previous bad experiences do we persist in playing players who play in the same position in the same team?
- Why do we persist in playing players out of position?
- Why do we persist in playing unfit players when it becomes obvious they are unfit?
- Why do we persist in playing out of form players when it becomes obvious they are out of form?
- Why do we persist in selecting players who have played poorly in previous matches?
- Why do we keep pacy centre forwards on the bench unused when playing opponents whose defenders are slow and ageing?
- Why do we never have a Plan B?
- Why did we make 6 changes before our final group game when the group wasn’t won?
- Why do we persist in selecting players who have played poorly in previous matches? (Yes, it’s an annoyingly repetitive habit.)
- Why did we wait until the 85th minute to bring on Marcus Rashford, when we were 2-1 down and on the verge of going out of the tournament against Iceland? What exactly did Roy think a precocious teenager, let alone an experienced and proven match winner, could do in 5 minutes? Or had Roy’s watch stopped half an hour earlier?
When the FA conduct their latest post-mortem, they may wish to consider these questions and find some answers for a change, otherwise it will be Groundhog Day all over again at the next major tournament.