Rio Ferdinand on England exit: ‘You have to earn the right to stay in the tournament ... we have not’
After slumping to 2-1 defeats in their first two matches in Brazil against Italy and Uruguay, Roy Hodgson’s team were officially eliminated on Friday when Costa Rica beat the Italians 1-0.
That surprise result left England bottom of Group D and out of the tournament with a match still to play.
It is the first time in 56 years England have failed to make it out of the World Cup group stage and Ferdinand, a former England captain, is adamant Hodgson’s squad have only themselves to blame for failing to adopt a more ruthless attitude when the momentum was with them.
“You have to earn the right to stay in a tournament. Unfortunately for us, we have not done that,” Ferdinand told the BBC.
“Maybe we were a bit naive in situations, in the Uruguay game when we got back into it at 1-1.
“We had a chance to get a point and dust ourselves down, to say ‘right, we are ready for the last game when everything is going to be on it,’ but we did not give ourselves the opportunity.
“It was there for us and we just could not see it through.”
Former England winger Chris Waddle, who featured in the 1986 and 1990 World Cup squads, admitted he was stunned the national team were already out of the tournament before some teams had even played their second group matches.
“They said there would be three teams fighting to get out of the group but we didn’t think England would be bottom,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“England are sitting in their hotel absolutely devastated but they have had two chances to get points on the board and they haven’t taken them.
“If you have the best players in the world you can play any system you want but we haven’t got that so we have to be hard to beat.”
Former England striker Stan Collymore pointed the finger of blame at captain Steven Gerrard, who has produced two lacklustre performances in Brazil.
Liverpool midfielder Gerrard made errors in the build-up to the two Luis Suarez goals for Uruguay and Collymore said on talkSPORT: “Steven Gerrard has been a wonderful servant to Liverpool football club and for England.
“But, for me now, I think he needs to look at himself and say perhaps he wants to extend his club career and retire from the England national scene.”
Nottingham Forest boss Stuart Pearce, a former England player and Under-21 national team coach, believes more care and attention needs to be shown to the under-age sides if the national team are to flourish at major tournaments.
“What tends to happen every two years is we get emotionally very highly charged when we go out of a competition like today,” he told talkSPORT.
“But the clues are in the two years in between. At all the youth levels we fail to send our best players to tournaments and we fail to give them experience at tournament football and we hope it will all come right on the big stage every two years.”
While England’s exit has provoked a predictable cry for changes, FA chairman Greg Dyke on Friday confirmed Hodgson will remain as manager and former England striker Alan Shearer is convinced that is the right decision.
“I think he should be given the opportunity to take England to the Euros in two years. We have to see the likes of (Luke) Shaw, (Raheem) Sterling, Ross (Barkley), these guys,” Shearer told the BBC.
“Everyone wanted to see the kids given a chance and he went and tried to win the game against Italy. He should be given the chance to finish what he started.”
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Published: June 21, 2014 04:00 AM