England captain Wayne Rooney has criticised former England coach Roy Hodgson in the wake of the side’s disappointing Euro 2016 campaign.
Following a draw and a win in the Three Lions’ opening two games Hodgson opted to rest a number of key players for the clash against Slovakia. England eventually drew the game 0-0 to finish second in their group, which Rooney believes to have been costly.
‘We had lost momentum from the Slovakia game and tournament football is about confidence. You get that from winning,’ Rooney told the Daily Mail.
‘It was Roy’s decision to make those changes against Slovakia and either way, the team he put out should have been able to win. But, right or wrong, I wanted to play and I can’t deny that.’
Rooney, who had to be called off the bench in the stalemate, admitted he would not have taken the same approach.
‘No, I wouldn’t have rested six players, it’s more than half the team. It was a gamble and it didn’t pay off.
‘When I came on against Slovakia it was difficult to change the game, impossible really. I was running around just trying to get the energy back into the team,’ he said.
Rooney has also criticised Hodgson’s tactics in the fateful loss to Iceland.
‘We were very poor against Iceland. Football can get lost in this new way of playing. Everyone is passing and moving when sometimes the simplest way – get it out wide, get crosses in the box, pick up the second ball – can be the best.
‘Possession’s fine, but it needs to have direction to it, and most times that has to be towards goal,’ the Manchester United star commented.
Rooney felt much of England’s control of the game was superfluous.
‘There are a lot of different ways to approach it, but pass, pass, pass, and then eventually pass back to your goalkeeper? For a forward player, that gets frustrating.
‘You need to get the balance right. You can over-complicate football. You keep moving the ball but if you’re not getting near the goal, what’s the point?’ he concluded.