Regardless of the rest against Costa Rica on Tuesday, this has been the worst performance from England at a World Cup ever – eliminated on day 8 of the tournament.
So what went wrong? Quite frankly, everything.
For all the praise the England team received from the media and pundits after their 2-1 defeat to Italy on Saturday night – it really wasn’t deserved.
England were missing only Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain through injury. The Italians meanwhile were without their first-choice goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, right backs Ignazio Abate and Mattia De Sciglio and centre-back Giorgio Chiellini moving over to left-back. Matteo Darmian and Gabriel Paletta started in defence with a combined 3 caps, whilst goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu only had 8 himself.
Despite a potentially vulnerable defence, England failed to test it greatly. The one goal came on a swift counter-attack whilst the only other real threat was a Wayne Rooney effort that he fired wide inside the penalty area. Sirigu not forced into one tough save.
Roll on five days to face a Uruguay side who admitted their preparation for the heat and humidity was poor coming into the tournament and whom had been thrashed 3-1 by a pacey Costa Rica attack who looked handy at set pieces.
Surely with England’s pace down the wings and the set piece expertise of both Steven Gerrard and Leighton Baines, this would be 3 points for England?
For all of England’s possession (63%) they once again failed to really test Fernando Muslera in the Uruguay goal. Wayne Rooney headed onto the underside of the crossbar from very close range and he later scored a tap-in. But once again, the opposition goalkeeper not forced into a difficult save.
If we add those great opportunities up over the course of 2 games, it’s just four noteworthy attempts on goal. The same total as the number of goals England have conceded.
Going forward was bad enough but defensively has been a shambles too. The midfield did a good effort in preventing the number of opportunities Italy and Uruguay had – but when the opposition did get past them the defence looked at sixes and sevens.
Italy’s winner came from Leighton Baines not closing the winger down and allowing Antonio Candreva the time and space to pick out his man in the box. Gary Cahill managed to let Mario Balotelli go for a simple header. The Chelsea defender not known for his man-marking expertise.
Uruguay’s opener came after Steven Gerrard pulled out of a challenge on the halfway line, three England defenders refused to challenge Edinson Cavani on the edge of their own penalty area and little Luis Suárez managed to pull of Phil Jagielka to head home.
We’d be kind to Phil Jagielka to say Suárez’s second goal was Sunday league defending but it was the most amateurish mistake seen at the 2014 World Cup. The Everton centre-back caught completely out of position by a route one kick up field by the goalkeeper that somehow found the Uruguayan strike one-on-one with Joe Hart.
Another weak point for the English defence was set pieces. Not only did the first Italy goal come from one but Uruguay came close to scoring from two basic corners into the near post. Even Sunday league defenders put a defender on the corner of their six yard box but England somehow ignored this, on more than one occasion.
Deservedly flying home before they even got the chance to get a tan!