Opinionated Irishman has his say on England’s World Cup performance.
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane thinks that England manager Roy Hodgson selected too many players without “big-game experience” in his 23-man World Cup squad.
England finished bottom of Group D in Brazil, after losing 2-1 to Italy and Uruguay, and drawing 0-0 with Costa Rica.
Despite the poor results, Hodgson has received a lot of praise for blooding talented youngsters, including teenagers Luke Shaw and Raheem Sterling.
However, Keane, who currently works as assistant manager for the Republic of Ireland, was not convinced.
Keane says that England still should have qualified from their group, but he reckons that the Three Lions had little chance of progressing any further due to the inexperience among the squad.
“I said England would struggle but that’s not football knowledge, that’s just common sense,” Keane told The Telegraph. “If you look at the squad, they should have done enough to get out of the group. The players didn’t perform.
“We played Costa Rica last month and if you had told me then they would top the group I’d have said you were mad. But if I look at the England squad and the players then a lot of them still lack vital experience. Whether it’s Champions League experience or big-game experience.
“A lot of those players are yet to win a trophy and yet people still expect them to go to the World Cup and reach the quarters or semi-finals.
“People are ranting and raving about the younger players – they still have a lot to do. We can argue all day about winter breaks and all the rest of it, but the fact is they should have done better.”
The main omission Hodgson made was leaving out 107-time international left-back Ashley Cole, instead opting to take Shaw and Leighton Baines, who struggled against Italy.
Hodgson played Wayne Rooney out of position and the Man United forward received a lot of criticism for his displays, despite being involved in both of England’s goals, scoring one and assisting the other.
Keane is adamant that Rooney still has plenty to offer at the top level
“If you think Wayne Rooney’s gone, then you are sadly mistaken,” added Keane.
“I thought he did OK. I’m sure he will feel that he should have done better. Top players are quick to look at themselves.”