My expectations against Iceland were to get an early goal and maybe win 3 or 4-0. That would show our opponents that our earlier results were a bit unlucky. We missed chances in the first three games. Once Iceland scored their goals, we seemed to collapse. It was like a boxing match. We knocked them down and then they got up and knocked us down twice.
I remember playing in 1982, against France in the World Cup. We practised me doing a throw-on and Terry Butcher would flick it on. The goal we got was then on the right, Steve Coppell took the throw-on and Bryan Robson scored after 17 seconds.
England have been criticised for Iceland’s first goal, but you’ve got to give Iceland credit. They felt that they were in the match and it gave them the confidence to score the second goal. But I would criticise us defensively there: Joe Hart should have saved the shot. We should have got a block in, before Hart needed to save the shot. Overall, it was poor defensively.
There is a lot of pressure on players at times. Hart is a fantastic goalkeeper, but both goals were to his left-hand side. Goalkeepers tend to have a favourite side and now Hart appears to have a weakness to his left.
I used to play in goal as a youngster and Gordon Banks was my hero. That famous save he made from Pele, at the 1970 World Cup, was on Banks’s favourite side. I picked that up as a youngster.
I still thought “we can win this” but as time went on I thought “we’re not doing our jobs”. Everyone seemed to look at each other, but not say anything. It was like a silent movie! We all know – not just football, not just sport – there needs to be talking. There was no talking, no arguments. If you put all that together, that’s a major problem for winning a football match.
For instance, when Wayne Rooney first came on the scene, as a 17 year-old, he’d get booked making a silly challenge trying to win the ball back. He’d get criticised, but for me that showed passion. Against Iceland, I didn’t see that in Wayne Rooney.
Rooney did well in the first three games, he controlled the second half against Wales. As the captain, he should start the banter on the pitch, the talking. Terry Butcher would have been shouting “Come on lads!” When the fans go quiet, you know you’re not playing well. I think Rooney’s international future is in the balance, in my opinion.
Joe Hart is a very experienced goalkeeper, but I didn’t hear him shout “Let’s get it forward”. There was no enthusiasm. I’d expect the players on the bench, in the technical area, to get shouting, for something to happen. But the spirit was dead. It was very frustrating watching it.
As a player myself, if I wasn’t doing it, I’d expect Terry Butcher or Bryan Robson to be shouting at me. That’s what every England fan would have been expecting too, but it wasn’t happening.
The lack of a mid-season break is no excuse. I don’t think there is any excuse for the performance. Every single player must look at themselves and ask “did I do my job”? I think the answer would be “no”, by everyone. That goes for the staff as well.
There’s been talk of the players lacking belief in the management and Hodgson has denied this, but the management should know about that, from the training pitch and around the hotel. You’ve got to learn about people, what gives them that little gee-up. If you do the little things in life, the bad things won’t happen.
You’ve got to know each other. I roomed with Graham Rix and he was quite a close friend with me, during my time with Arsenal and England. He’d know how many sugars I’d want in my tea. We could tell each other where we were going wrong. In the Iceland game, that spirit was vanishing as the game went on.
Hodgson has now gone and the FA has got to make a proper decision, for a manager who can get the best out of the players, which Hodgson didn’t do in this tournament. Whoever they go for, the new manager has got to be honest and open. The FA has to take responsibility too. It’s a massive group effort. If they rush into an appointment, it’s a mistake in my opinion.
I would love to be involved in some way, as I believe I have something to offer. I’m in a very good place now and people keep telling me I have something to offer. I have the knowledge to help. I’ve been studying football and I hope my website has opened people’s eyes. If I can help in any way, I’d love to help.
Gareth Southgate appears to be the current favourite and he coached the England under-21s to win the Toulon Tournament this summer. No disrespect to him, but I don’t think he is good enough to manage the full England international team. I look to the FA to appoint someone with presence, to make players perform, in every international.
We need someone who can get us to focus and know those players, inside out. The staff as well. The staff are just as important as the manager, in my opinion. We need someone with a football brain. ‘Should I start him, or have him as a sub’? The likes of Bill Shankly and Brian Clough had the power to make players perform how they needed. We need someone in that mould, plus the football brain of Terry Venables.
I’m saying Glenn Hoddle, Bryan Robson, Terry Butcher – get them together and between the three of them, they would bring success from the very talented group of players that we have. I know some fans might say “he would say that” and that those three might not be well-regarded as having been successful managers, but I know what they have got.
When you get them together, the FA needs to tell them what they want. The conversation should be intense. Not just an hour, but a lot longer. The FA should get them in a nice restaurant, have a nice meal and a nice chat and get to learn about those people. The FA now has to make the right decision. P.S. if you need any help, just give me a call!