World Cup 2014 live: Day 9 from Brazil including reaction to England's exit after Costa Rica's 1-0 win over Italy plus France's 5-2 triumph over Switzerland and Ecuador's 2-1 victory over Honduras
DAY 9 AT A GLANCE:
6/20/2014 10:28:28 AM
- Switzerland 2 (Dzemaili 81′ Xhaka 86') France 5 (Giroud 17' Matuidi 18', Valbuena 40', Benzema 66', Sissoko 72') - FT
- France lay down their World Cup credentials with an impressive victory
- Italy 0 Costa Rica 1 (Ruiz) FT
- Italy's defeat means England are out of the World Cup, Costa Rica go through
- Honduras 1 (Costly 31') Ecuador 2 (E. Valencia 34', 65') - FT
- Enner Valencia shines as Ecuador set up interesting tie with France
- 'I will not resign,' says Roy Hodgson after 2-1 defeat to Uruguay
Hello and welcome along to the Independent’s live coverage of Day Nine of the 2014 World Cup finals.
I sincerely hope you have all just about recovered from England’s defeat last night, it’s still raw, I know.
We’ll have all the reaction and news from the England camp throughout the day after their humbling 2-1 loss at the hands of Uruguay yesterday and what it all means for the tournament going forward and what it means for after.
I can imagine there’s a few sore heads out there this morning and not from the raucous night’s celebrations we had all hoped for but instead desperate conciliation.
But heyho, England are not out yet! If Italy best Costa Rica tonight, we are still in it!
We've got the other Group D game coming for you live from 5pm and then Group E gets back underway with Switzerland v France from 8pm and rounding up at 11pm with Honduras v Ecuador.
With plenty to get through, let’s get started, shall we?6/20/2014 10:32:42 AM
Suarez!That man was always going to play a big part against England when the draw was made all those months ago, it was inevitable.But, his contribution was even better than many had feared.Liverpool's Luis Suarez almost single-handedly dispatched England from these World Cup finals after his two superb goals were more than enough to see off a desperately disappointing England side.After the game, Suarez had his say about the game, about the British public and about his Reds' teammate and friend Steven Gerrard, whose mistake let him in for Uruguay's winner.If you can bring yourself to read it, here it is...
It was one of the best games I've played. It's an amazing moment for me. Maybe a few days ago I thought this wouldn't be possible. Before the game too many people in England laughed about my attitude over the last few years. This is a very good time for me. I want to see what they think now.6/20/2014 10:44:45 AM
Hodgson to step down?As is always the case after England exit (or nearly exit anyway) a major tounrament, the manager's job is always open to debate.Roy Hodgson cut a forlorn figure as he slumped back into his chair after Luis Suarez's winning goal and England's second defeat in as many games in Brazil.He didn't look happy, far from it, but after the game he was as chipper as ever saying how it was bitterly disappointing but England still have a chance to get through and still played well.He also said, he will not be stepping down, just yet...Harry Redknapp time??
There is still a slim chance England could qualify for the knockout rounds if Italy win their two remaining games and England beat Costa Rica by the requisite margin to see them finish second on goal difference. Asked whether he had considered resigning, Hodgson said: “No. I don't have any intention to resign. I've been really happy with the way the players have responded to the work we've tried to.6/20/2014 10:59:45 AM
Fancy a vid?I know it's all still very raw and upsetting but if you didn't catch the action from last night then here's a handy video for you.Just skip past all the Uruguay and Suarez stuff and replay Wayne Rooney's superb tap-in over and over and over again!
While Wayne Rooney netted his 40th goal for England, and his first World Cup goal ever, it was Suarez who stole the show with his late second goal securing all the points for Uruguay and leaving England bottom of their group after two consecutive defeats.6/20/2014 11:08:18 AM
So what went wrong?It has been said for many years now that England simply can not defend to the standards required in the biggest games.Our back-four last night was woefully unequipped to deal with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani and no matter how much Roy Hodgson and Steven Gerrard would like to paper of the cracks, Uruguay's two goals were just too easy.Going froward we looked decent, albeit not as dangerous as against Italy, but still a threat.James Olley looks at the five things we learnt from Sao Paulo and what England need to do to make sure we don't go away from this World Cup with nothing at all.What's your opinion?
It would have been a miracle had Roy Hodgson been able to eradicate in four days the errors that have been prevalent in England’s defending for two years. Glen Johnson, Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill were all guilty of agricultural, panicked clearances in the first half revealing a troubling lack of composure.6/20/2014 11:17:01 AM
Today's Poll!We've got our poll up for today again and it's a simple question!Can the Three Lions roar into the next round or not?Have your say and you never know, it might just come true...PS. Come on Italy!!6/20/2014 11:20:26 AM
They think it's all over... not just yet!Well, now all that depressing stuff is out of the way, how about a little bit of optimism?England can still qualify for the next round!Here's how:
For England to remain in the competition they need Italy to win both their remaining matches against first Costa Rica and then Uruguay.
Should either Costa Rica or Uruguay manage a win or even a draw in their remaining games then England are out - England obviously needing a win against Costa Rica in their final game.6/20/2014 11:23:58 AM
Wayne Rooney!Before we go back to talking about how bad everything was, we can, at least, have a little chat about a certain number 10 who did rather well yesterday.Wayne Rooney really performed for England last night, he was their best player, their biggest threat and, of course, a World Cup goal-scorer at long last.Wazza can hold his head high after his contribution over England's two games so far but he still missed a great chance in either game, that, had they gone in, our outlook on the tournament could be oh, so different.Alas, it wasn't to be! But, Wayne did well and Simon Peach weighs up just how well.
Was England's best player on the night, but his missed opportunities ended up playing a major role in the defeat. His delight was clear at ending his wait for a World Cup goal and his hard work was never in doubt, it was just a shame he could not have scored earlier.6/20/2014 11:31:40 AM
England's defenders have their say.
England have conceded four goals in two games so far in this World Cup and that ratio is simply not good enough to see major attempt at the title.
England's centre-back duo has been Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka for many years now and they have performed well for their country but last night was not their night.
Both players had their say about things after the game and it makes for pretty grim reading, I warn you now!
John Stones, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling? We're pretty thin in that department and we'll need these two for years to come!
Enjoy, or, er, at least try and hold back the tears!
It's the worst feeling I have had as a player," the England centre-back told Press Association Sport.
A few weeks ago this (the World Cup) was one of the highlights of my career and a couple of weeks down the line it's one of the lowest points.
His defensive partner, Phil Jagielka, also has his say:
Gutting. We played so well again in spells.
It didn't go our way with Steven (Gerrard) flicking the ball on, and you just hope that he mishits one, but he hit the target and they win the game.
As you can tell by my voice, everyone is absolutely devastated.6/20/2014 11:41:30 AM
Gulf in class?I am sorry to be the bearer of such bad news but it is my job.Ian Herbert has his say about the action from Sao Paulo last night and how Luis Suarez exposed England's lack of real talent when compared to their superior opposition.Wayne Rooney tried his best to attack the Uruguayan's supposedly weak back four and both him and Daniel Sturridge had chances to score.It was not to be and Liverpool's Suarez haunted his club teammates, the rest of the England team and the whole country with his skill, power and technique.Have a read what went wrong and why England came up so short...
The goalscorer who has probably ended England’s World Cup was the most predictable one in the tournament. His threat will have been analysed 100 times. Steven Gerrard said the course of England’s night would stand or fall on the defence. And still Luis Suarez cleaved open England’s central defence. Again and then again. There can be no preparation for the lack of requisite class.6/20/2014 11:50:09 AM
Poor old Gezza!You have to feel sorry for Steven Gerrard.He has been so good all season long but one or two high-profile mistakes and all that good work has long since been forgotten.His slip against Chelsea for Liverpool which all but handed the Premier League title to Manchester City and now two really quite poor outings for England in Brazil have made it a six weeks to forget for Gerrard.He also turned 34 at the end of May, as if things couldn't get any worse!England were excited to see him play in his new holding midfield role but, as to now, in the white of England, it just hasn't come off.Is it time for Stevie G to step aside?
Despite enjoying a glittering career for Liverpool, the Three Lions’ captain has been criticised for failing to reproduce that form on the international stage. Istanbul and the 2006 FA Cup final are phrases that go hand-in-hand with the name Gerrard, but he has simply failed to perform when he dons the white shirt of England.6/20/2014 11:57:46 AM
As we check in with Twitter for the first time today, some people still believe, some...Even after a nights sleep here in Sao Paulo just as depressed about England. Nothing left to say. So dispiriting on all fronts.Very sorry to see @england lose last night- congratulations to #URU. Flying to #CostaRica on Sunday, will bring an England scarf #itsnotoverEngland have a 4% chance of staying in the World Cup. Brilliant!
Back in the game!England chose the wrong tournament to try and emulate Spain. Nonetheless, there's still (some) hope! #EternalOptimistPersonally I'm looking forward to England scraping through to the second round against the odds and then losing to Colombia on penalties.Why is it always a laughing stock ting for the England football team at these tournaments?6/20/2014 12:02:47 PM
Some helpful stats from our friends over at Opta too, makes it all the more depressing really, at least Barkley did OK.97% - Ross Barkley has completed 28 of his 29 attempted passes & crosses at the #WorldCup. Tidy.75.9% - #ENG v #URU saw the lowest passing accuracy of any 2014 World Cup game (75.9%), while #ENG v #ITA had the best (92.2%). Spectrum.0 - No team has ever lost their opening two games at the #WorldCup and advanced from the group. Miracle.2 - The last time England lost their opening two games of a major tournament was Euro 88 (lost all three group games). Memories.4 - Roy Hodgson has lost his last four games at the World Cup (two with Switzerland, two with England). Reverse.6/20/2014 12:05:46 PM
Reasons to be cheerful!It's not all doom and gloom for us England fans! Trust me, it's really not, well sort of not.Jack De Menezes gives us his six reasons for England fans to not hit the bottle just yet and instead keep our unrelenting optimism going for at least another few hours until the Italy game is said and done!Rooney scoring, lasting longer than Spain, a chance to make history, all good reasons to turn that frown underside down today!
Records are there to be broken. No team has ever qualified for the second round of the World Cup having lost their first two matches. Yet England can still do it, providing Italy beat both Costa Rica and Uruguay. That may not be as farfetched as it sounds, given that the Italians saw off an on-form England side in the opening match. With the streets of England painted blue and ‘Forza Italia’ ringing out across the country, England could still re-write World Cup history.6/20/2014 12:13:25 PM
Uruguay were good, it has to be said!For as bad as England were (sorry, sorry again everyone) Uruguay did a thoroughly professional job on us to get a win they desperately needed.If Uruguay had lost, they would have been of the World Cup and after their surpirse 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica in their opening game, it looked more than likely.But, with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, they have two players who are genuinely world class, something that can no longer be said of England.How did Suarez do? Very, very well! You know that, I know that, the whole world knows it by now. But just how well? We had a closer look at Uruguay's main man:Uruguay may not be a one-man team, but are pretty close to one on this showing. They were a totally different side to the which were so poor against Costa Rica and that was down in large part to Suarez. Two clinical finishes from the Liverpool man were the difference between the sides.It wasn't all just about Suarez though. Uruguay's boss Oscar Tabarez was full of praise of his other striker, Cavani.The PSG man did a job, well and truly on Steven Gerrard and for as much as England didn't cope with Suarez, they didn't cope with Cavani either.
Tabarez claimed that England “don't have any weaknesses” and said that Cavani’s selflessness had had an important role in quelling Gerrard’s ability to distribute. “Cavani played a very important role neutralising [Gerrard],” he said. “Gerrard couldn't create the opportunities he normally does because Cavani was facing him most of the time and stopping him. They had more difficulties today than they normally do reaching the goal. That was the key.”6/20/2014 12:26:37 PM
Right then, enough about England now! Let's talk about something else, shall we? Something that doesn't make us want to bust into tears!6/20/2014 12:27:39 PM
Super Mario!Mario Balotelli could turn from hero to villain on these shores should be bag a few goals against Costa Rica later today.The AC Milan striker slammed home a header against England just days ago to give Italy victory and increase the hatred for him among England fans by a notch or two but now our hopes of qualifying lie on Italy dispatching Costa Rica.Balotelli has put in a cheeky request should he do England a favour tonight, a kiss from the Queen!On the check of course, but Liz, get ready, we need it!
"If we beat Costa Rica I want a kiss, obviously on the cheek, from the UK Queen."6/20/2014 12:36:02 PM
England's last chance?All our hopes now lie with Italy. Forza Italia!If England are to keep going in this tournament we need a big helping hand from our European neighbors and only a victory for Cesare Prandelli's men tonight will do.Italy must win both their remaining games and then England must smash Costa Rica on June 24, here's hoping!With Mario Balotelli, Italy and England have a chance and the striker was in jovial mood ahead of today's game.Get yourself a big bowl of pasta, a slice of pizza or two and dust off that old Italia 90 shirt and let's support our Azzurri cousins.The Milan striker appears a calmer and more relaxed figure than he has been recently – the only Balotelli story to have appeared from the Italian training camp has been of him filling the Italy page in his World Cup stickers book with pictures of himself. “I am approaching this competition with a great peace of mind,” he said. “I don’t feel any pressure because it is not Mario’s World Cup, it is Italy’s World Cup.”6/20/2014 12:46:29 PM
Italy v Costa Rica!
It's that time again, preview time! Scott Delhommer with this one ahead of latest Group D encounter.
Here's a few helpful stats to get your teeth into and fingers crossed Italy can get the job done, sorry Costa Rica, vested interests over here in Blighty!
- Italy’s 93 percent pass completion against England is the highest ever recorded in the World Cup since 1966.
- Costa Rica has never won two consecutive games at the World Cup, but the team has scored in all of their World Cup games against European teams.
- In the last round of qualifying in CONCACAF, Costa Rica conceded the least amount of goals of all the teams by only letting in 7 goals in 10 matches.
- Italy has not been held scoreless in their last 15 World Cup matches. The last time they failed to convert any chances was in 1998 when they lost to France.6/20/2014 12:51:41 PM
Some very Italian Englishman out there today! Forza Italia! Are we clutching straws?Realise this sounds like straw clutching and #ENG almost certainly out....but Italy beating Costa Rica and Uruguay hardly that unlikelyMario Balotelli wants a kiss from the Queen after Italy beats Costa Rica. Probably could have chosen someone better http://t.co/6eC7A4jbJrEveryone getting football blues. I'm backing Italy to deliver. But can we beat Costa Rica?So if Italy beats Costa Rica, Peppa Pig sprouts wings, we win by 3.5 goals in our next game & The Beatles reform we can still qualify right?Hoping for a result from Italy today against Costa Rica.6/20/2014 12:54:27 PM
Plenty, oh yes, plenty of stuff going on around the Indy sport's website today, check out the best stuff!Yesterday capped a miserable six weeks for Steven Gerrard. Will it get better or worse? http://t.co/dcOtTGvF5o http://t.co/JpULfiNQiJIncredible. Physio Walter Ferreira delayed his cancer treatment to help Luis Suarez recover http://t.co/59NeLB2MK4 http://t.co/cRLuOLJGpbWorld Cup 2014: Mario Balotelli demands a kiss (on the cheek) from the Queen if Italy beat Costa Rica tonight ... http://t.co/yVV8UEdVshWorld Cup 2014: Neil Warnock's team of the tournament http://t.co/4XLQS8ZUKfEngland vs Uruguay World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson concedes chance of progression is 'unbelievably slim' http://t.co/ofHM57pQ7GEngland vs Uruguay World Cup 2014: 'I will not resign,' says Roy Hodgson after 2-1 loss left England on the br... http://t.co/7iNm8oaWRc6/20/2014 12:56:12 PM
It wasn't only England in action yesterday, far from it! Two other games were on show from Group C and Colombia took a huge step towards securing their place in the next round.
Goals from James Rodriguez and substitute Juan Quintero were enough to see off the Ivory Coast who did manage a goal back through Gervinho but it was mere conciliation.
Colombia looked good and showed that they can hold on to a victory even when the other side are pressuring them hard.
Simon Hart brings you up-to-date with all the action from Brasilia yesterday...
There was a light-hearted moment at the outset of this match when James Rodriguez, the Colombia No 10, attempted to stamp on a large inflatable ball that had been thrown on the pitch as if it were a balloon. He was unable to burst it and in the end gave up.
It was about the only thing the Colombia playmaker did get wrong as he helped inspire the South Americans to a victory that should guarantee their place in the round of 16 of this World Cup.For all the joy of the Colombians, there was, of course, heartbreak for the Ivorians.Didier Drogba couldn't contain his grief after their defeat and said he could not put his feelings into words.
Drogba, who had played an important role as a substitute against Japan, was this time a 60-minute substitute for Wilfriend Bony, and he touched on his situation after when he said after his country’s 2-1 defeat: “I can’t always express what I feel. These are the coach’s choices and I respect them. We showed we were good enough. We conceded two goals from stupid balls but otherwise played a good game.”And, to wrap it all up nicely, Howard Webb got his hands on the magic spray! Enjoy!6/20/2014 1:10:15 PM
The other game!
Many of you may well have gone straight to bed after England's defeat or hit the bottle so hard you had no idea another game was going on.
Don't worry too much though, it was not a classic. Japan and Greece played out a goalless draw to earned both sides their first point of the World Cup.
Greece had Kostas Katsouranis sent off but it didn't change the game's outcome and both teams settled for a point.
Jim Vertuno (great name, I know) summed up this one for us...
Both teams inserted new strikers in search of goals and a first victory, but ultimately the main objective was survival and both achieved that with one match left in group play. Japan would have been eliminated with a loss.
Once Katsouranis was sent off after a rough challenge on Makoto Hasebe, Greece withdrew into a defensive setup and held firm. Even short-handed, Greece was better organized against Japan and avoided any critical mistakes.As for Japan, Brazil 2014 has been the year of missed chances so far!A come-back defeat at the hands of the Ivory Coast in their opening game and now a goalless draw against Greece's 10 men has meant Japan face an early exit from the World Cup.
Against Ivory Coast in Recife, they lost the lead and the match and, further up Brazil’s Atlantic coast in Natal, Japan failed to take advantage of a Greek side that played with 10 men for most of the match following the dismissal of Kostas Katsouranis for a dreadful tackle on Makoto Hasebe seven minutes before the interval.6/20/2014 1:19:26 PM
Shocking!!There's been plenty of good stuff going on in this World Cup so far but plenty of bad stuff too!How we love a bit controversy though! Gets the old blood pumping, doesn't it?!
Here Simon Rice looks at the most shocking moments of the World Cup so far, no doubt they'll be plenty to add to this list before all is said and done down in Brazil!
Aside from the moments of beauty, like Robin van Persie's flying header and Tim Cahill's stunning volley, there have also been some incidents those involved would rather forget.
Red cards, play acting and bizarre refereeing decisions have all combined in Brazil to ensure some hot talking points.6/20/2014 1:24:25 PM
Half past two, time of some news! Here's five of best pieces around the Indy sport's website at the moment...1). The five things we've learnt after England's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Uruguay.2). Steven Gerrard says that the England players were naive in the defeat that leaves them on the brink of elimination.3). Roy Hodgson states that England have an 'unbelievably slim' chance of progressing through to the knock-out stages.4). But, we can still make it, here's why...And finally,5). Mario Balotelli has revealed his demands should his team prevail over Costa Rica and do England a massive favour - a kiss (on the cheek) from Her Majesty the Queen.Enjoy!6/20/2014 1:33:49 PM
The Twittersphere is always good for a World Cup thought or two...Officially announcing my retirement from collecting world cup stickersThe only person to save England's World Cup is Andrea Pirlo.6/20/2014 1:37:02 PM
On to today's action!Now that the pain of England's defeat is starting to get easier to deal with, it's almost time for the football to get back underway on day nine!First up is Italy v Costa Rica but after that Group E resumes. There were wins for Switzerland and France in the opening round of games and now those two go head-to-head in Salvador at 8pm.Simon Hart, our man on Brazil's east coast for this one, has his say about how the Swiss are reaping the rewards from their cultural combinations.
This generation of players have helped Switzerland qualify for a third successive World Cup for the first time and what strikes Hitzfeld, their 65-year-old coach, is their boldness. He once cited the example of Xhaka, the Borussia Mönchengladbach player, and his fearless attitude when handed his national team debut against England at Wembley in 2011. “I asked him ‘Are you up for this?’ and he said ‘Why not? Do you not think I can do it?’”6/20/2014 1:45:27 PM
A preview to a preview!
Scott Delhommer got his grips around the all European affair of Switzerland v France and drew up a few good stats to wet our appetites.
- France and Switzerland are well acquainted having faced each other 36 times. France have won 15 games to the Swiss’ 12. There have been 9 draws.
- Karim Benzema is the first French player to score a brace in a World Cup match since Zinedine Zidane in the 1998 final.
- Switzerland have conceded just two goals in their last eight World Cup games.
- If France scores against Switzerland, it will be their 100th World Cup goal.
- Switzerland have not beaten France since 1992 when they won 2-1 in a friendly.
Enjoy the preview, I know you will!6/20/2014 1:50:16 PM
Honduras v EcuadorThe mark of a true World Cup fan is staying up to watch the most un-glamorous of ties and even more so when they don't finish until gone 1 o'clock in the morning!The final game today is such a game.Honduras kicked the life out France last week while Ecuador didn't exactly thrill the world with their performance either.All adds up to probably, an absolute belter! Or, the worst two hours of your life.There's one point of interest, though. Honduras should be looking for goals, at least for the first 38 minutes or so. If they don't, they will become the team who haven't netted in a World Cup for the longest amount of time ever. If that isn't enough incentive, I don't know what is.We shall see! In the meantime, Simon Hart looked a bit deeper into this match-up from Group E.
If their drought runs for another 38 minutes they will have surpassed the only two teams to have fared worse in front of goal in the competition’s history, Bolivia (517 minutes) and Algeria (506). Luis Fernando Suarez, the Honduras coach, said: “We are aware of the challenge we face and we are enjoying it. It is a privilege to be at a World Cup. To win games you have to score goals and you have to play well – we know it won't be easy but we leave the statistics to one side.”6/20/2014 2:01:28 PM
Just two hours to go until kickoff between Italy and Costa Rica on Day 9 of the 2014 World Cup!!6/20/2014 2:02:09 PM
Team news: How about a bit of team news on this Friday afternoon!Italy are likely to recall Gianluigi Buffon after he recovered from the knock that kept him out of the game with England on Saturday. Mattie de Sciglio is also fit but faces a late decision as to whether he'll be risked.Daniele de Rossi and Andrea Barzagli both picked up small injuries in training this week but could still feature.As for Costa Rica, they are likely to be unchanged from the team that beat Uruguay 3-1 last week.6/20/2014 2:07:21 PM
We're all a little Italian tonight!Tonight England fans all over the country and in Brazil will be cheering on Italy! If Italy win their final two group games and England beat Costa Rica by a handsome margin, England will go through to the next round.Here, we at the Independent have drawn up some reasons to support the Italians tonight and how they aren't too much different from ourselves.Pirlo, Balotelli, Buffon, plenty of reason for optimism but if England are supporting them, they'll probably lose...
If Italy win their next two games, England's World Cup destiny will effectively be back in their hands. Cesare Prandelli's team will be desperate to beat Costa Rica (ranked below Scotland in the Fifa rankings) in Recife today, which would virtually guarantee their progression to the knockout rounds. An Italy win means England would still have hope of a miraculous appearance in the last 16 going into the final group D fixtures on Tuesday. Whether or not Italy come to England's rescue however, there are plenty of reasons why Three Lions fans should be getting behind the Azzurri.6/20/2014 2:13:40 PM
Scotland hate us, they really do!Did everyone see that Scotland fan celebrating with true glee after Luis Suarez's second against England yesterday?Now, I'm not advacting a lynching or anything but someone needs to give this man a word!I jest, he's OK but it was just all a bit mean, really.Insult into injury, big time!
Whether he was lost or simply travelling to support anyone but England, the man has now been identified as Glaswegian Mark McConville, a reported Formula One engineer for championship leading team Mercedes. Kitted out in a ginger wig, tartan hat and Scotland’s away shirt, McConville was seen waving a Scottish flag in celebration of Luis Suarez’s winning goal.6/20/2014 2:19:40 PM
A worrying piece of news has just been told to me here in the office. |taly have not won their second group game in the last three World Cups...Come on Italy, FORZA ITALIA, you're our only hope!6/20/2014 2:21:26 PM
Italy v Costa Rica. Pirlo is ready. http://t.co/ImgbFemido6/20/2014 2:25:58 PM
Stevie G, not happy!*Warning* Steven Gerrard do not read the following.To the rest of you, Gerrard has not had the six weeks we would have dreamed of three months ago, has he?Back in April, it looked like he would be lifting the Premier League title and taking all that confidence into a successful World Cup campaign with England.Barring a miracle in Brazil, neither of those things is going to happen and Gezza must be itchy to get away from football and off to some beach for his hols.Here, we take a closer look at Stevie's nightmare few weeks...
Part of the ill-Christened “Golden Generation” that failed to deliver their full attention, it is hard to see how Gerrard can carry on until Euro 2016, and despite amassing 113 caps for his country, he will be largely unsatisfied with how his England career panned out – just like many before him.6/20/2014 2:33:09 PM
There's still a chance!While last night's defeat is still pretty raw around country, there is reason to believe we can still get out of Group D and be optimistic about the future of English football!Jack de Menezes takes a look at the six reasons we have to be cheerful, after all, it's only football (I know football is everything really, clutching at straws here people).
Records are there to be broken. No team has ever qualified for the second round of the World Cup having lost their first two matches. Yet England can still do it, providing Italy beat both Costa Rica and Uruguay. That may not be as farfetched as it sounds, given that the Italians saw off an on-form England side in the opening match. With the streets of England painted blue and ‘Forza Italia’ ringing out across the country, England could still re-write World Cup history.6/20/2014 2:38:22 PM
Lots to read around the Independent's sport website at the moment!Could this end up being England's worst ever summer of sport? It's not looking good http://t.co/Io7DHBf17B http://t.co/I9nfPcegLTWorld Cup 2014: Why all England fans should support Italy http://t.co/LYpMsqDHVPEngland win the 2014 World Cup... No not that one, but rugby's Junior World Championship as Under-20's retain ... http://t.co/Gk2LeGQoNcWorld Cup 2014: Mario Balotelli demands a kiss (on the cheek) from the Queen if Italy beat Costa Rica tonight ... http://t.co/yVV8UEdVsh6/20/2014 2:42:00 PM
Good observation from Jovicevic here on the comments, you've done my job for me, thanks very much!Remember, keep your thoughts, questions, ideas, coming in by just hitting the 'Make a Comment' button and we'll do our best to put each one up! (Providing they're clean,of course!)
Once more, England payed costly for their ways and sloppy match approach: conservative, static, non-aggressive slow and insecure, all this joined with poor defense in the back, leaving Hart helplessly alone against Suarez (scorer they knew so well). In the midfield battlefield there was no power, Rooney could not be all - goal provider, organizer, defensive helping hand, A. Robben like motor-speed racer to enemy's box. Unfortunately representative manager is just a bad luck (to add it to yours similar comment about captain) - nothing else, no sparks, no energy, no hardness, no strength, no enough fighting spirit. If want England revive there is not more than one option - beg, pay, press Mr Special to be a manager. Now he is home in England, he likes very much players and their (English) ways, and results will come, in three to five years period. and team will learn how to play good, strong, no-by-passing defense.jovicevicat 3:41 PM6/20/2014 2:46:30 PM
Hodgson to step down?If England go on to lose all three of their group games in Brazil, the calls for Hodgson's head will be louder than ever.After the match last night, Roy stated that he will not be stepping down as the Three Lions' boss and that it will be in the hands of the FA to make a decision.If he can't mastermind a victory over Costa Rica though, things won't be looking good!“I'm bitterly disappointed, of course, but I don't feel I need to resign, no. On the other hand, and if the FA think I'm not the right man to do the job, that will be their decision, and not mine.”6/20/2014 2:52:58 PM
Well, England are going alright in the cricket, at least some of our boys are doing the business!Kick off to the live action on Day 9 is just over an hour away!6/20/2014 2:59:00 PM
Team news: For the first time today then, come and get your team news!!Italy: Buffon, Abate, Darmian, Chiellini, Barzagli, De Rossi, Candreva, Motta, Prilo, Marchisio, BalotelliCosta Rica: Navas, Gamboa, Diaz Campbell, Umana, Gonzalez, Duarte, Valverde, Borges, Campbell, Ruiz, Bolanos6/20/2014 3:02:17 PM
Team news: The teams are in then and England's date with destiny will be dealt by those 22 men!Gianluigi Buffon is back in goal for the Azzurri after overcoming his left leg injuries. Italy also make two other changes with Motta and Abate coming in for Verratti and Paletta.Costa Rica are unchanged.I do apologise to any Costa Rican fans tuning in, I know there's a slightly bias feel in Italy's favour, I can't help it! FORZA ITALIA!6/20/2014 3:09:01 PM