(Original post by ArcadeFire)
Haven't read the whole thread, but going by the first couple of pages, the amount of Hodgson apologists is embarrassing.
The whole 'he did a good job getting to the quarters, the team isn't good enough' line is just an excuse. Sure, the team isn't brilliant, but it's pretty decent, and with a different approach we could have definitely given Italy a good game. Hodgson is a dinosaur and his tactics are archaic; rigid, flat, negative and not even particularly savvy defensively. Gerrard was totally wasted, whilst not the player he once was, he's shown that when given a bit of freedom in attacking positions he is still a top player, yet he was restricted to running sideways - alongside parker doing exactly the same job - chasing shadows for the whole game, with the occasional foray forward to take a set piece. Way to much was asked of them and against a better team than Italy the midfield would have been decimated.
There was no link between defence and attack, no fluidity, no pressure on the ball, and it's no great surprise that we can't keep possession when playing in two rigid banks of four with the two strikers isolated totally out of the game.
I also agree with the op about the criticism of certain individual players. Although the likes of Milner, Rooney, and Young were a bit sloppy and wasteful in possession at times, opportunities to do anything productive were few and far between, usually when they got the ball it was in their own half surrounded by opposition players, what're they supposed to do? Hodgson doesn't play with wingers, just 4 full backs with 2 playing slightly further forward.
As has been pointed out, the total lack of anyone picking up Pirlo was costly. If you're going to be non-existent as an attacking unit, you'd at least think that the oppositions key players would be nullified
I expect England to struggle in qualification for Brazil 2014, and if they do manage it then it will be more of the same come the tournament. Hodsgon doesn't believe in possession football, which, despite how people may trot out the cliché of 'only one statistic matters - goals', is a fatal error, particularly at international level.