• World Cup

Gerrard's captaincy comes under fire

ESPN staff
June 23, 2014
Steven Gerrard to take time over retirement decision

Gary Lineker claims "individual" Steven Gerrard cannot organise the England team or spot problems during games.

Gerrard, the England captain, has always tried to lead by example but admitted before the team's disappointing show in Brazil that former manager Fabio Capello did not rate him as a skipper.

"Wonderful player that he is, has always been an individual in many ways," BBC presenter Gary Lineker said.

"He's not really a player that can organise or spot problems. He didn't spot the danger on England's left side in the first game [against Italy], which was pretty obvious after a few attempts."

Gerrard takes his role as England captain very seriously and says he has been "broken" by their early exit.

He was at fault for Uruguay's second goal last week after a long ball defence skidded off the top of his head and fell into the path of his Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez

England have been eliminated from the tournament with one group game remaining after Roy Hodgson's side lost 2-1 to Italy and Uruguay. Costa Rica ended their slim hopes of qualification with a shock win over Italy last Friday.

But Lineker was not just blaming Gerrard; Roy Hodgson's tactics in England's two games also came under fire as he fights off calls for him to step down.

The manager insisted he would not resign after Suarez scored twice for Uruguay against England and has since been backed by the FA to remain in charge until his contract expires in 2016.

But Lineker questioned whether Hodgson gets the most out of his players. "Roy got it wrong," he said. "The system that suits this kind of England better, with the lack of experience in it, is probably a 4-3-3.

"He tried to just play with two players in the centre of midfield. In the first game I thought it was better because he had [Raheem] Sterling behind [Daniel] Sturridge, and that gave us three because Sterling is more of a natural midfield player certainly than [Wayne] Rooney.

"The problem with this 4-2-3-1 is that it very quickly becomes a 4-4-2 or at least a 4-4-1-1 and we end up with flat lines and people getting between us. I think we would have been better - and I said this before the tournament - with three midfield players because you've got to give yourself a chance defensively."

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