6 schoolboy errors England managers keep making


England's ability to circle back into troubled waters once a major tournament begins is as baffling as it is repetitive and, as Roy Hodgson sulks out the exit door as the latest Three Lions boss to come up short, the question most of us is asking is 'how did this happen...again?'

The answer(s) to that are set to form the basis of yet another Football Association review - sigh - but after 50 years of hurt there have got to be at least some lessons we've learned along the way.

We've picked out six things that the new boss needs to avoid at all costs. He should probably pin this on his office wall and repeat - I WILL NOT...

1. I will not pick unfit players

England's Jack Wilshere

It is only natural to want the most talented players at your disposal, but is a 75% fit Jack Wilshere really a better option than a fully-fit title winner like Danny Drinkwater? Leeds have had six managers since the oft-injured Arsenal midfielder last played 90 minutes, yet he made three underwhelming appearances at Euro 2016. It is not the first time it has happened, but it should be the last.

2. I will not experiment with my team at key times

Wayne Rooney, centre, talks to Jamie Vardy

England had three preparation matches in the build-up to Euro 2016 and won all of them, albeit not in the most convincing fashion. It was a chance to try new things: the decision to give 18-year-old Marcus Rashford his debut paid off against Australia, whereas the attempt to play Jamie Vardy, Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane in attack together against Portugal did not. Rather than return to the tried and tested, though, Hodgson put all-time top scorer Rooney in midfield for the first time in his international career in the opener against Russia. It worked in the group stage but failed miserably against Iceland, with a team of players lacking confidence looking lost. Tweak the tried and tested, do not rip things up.

3. I will not waste the chance to establish a style of play

Italy coach Antonio Conte

It is one of international football's cliches but Italy are a 'tournament team'. In recent years they've struggled through qualification only to come good when it counts. That's because they spend the two years previous honing a character to their play that serves them as a solid foundation point when it counts at the tournament. England coasted through qualification, but by the end of it no-one knew what their best team was or who should play where. Antonio Conte's Italy beat defending champions Spain hours before England's horror exit on the back of all their players knowing exactly what their job was. England looked completely lost at the end of the Iceland game. The two performances couldn't have been more stark.

4. I will not let players retreat behind headphones at the expense of camaraderie

Daniel Sturridge

The importance of 'getting in the zone' cannot be underestimated, but neither can talking through issues, complaints or even, on the odd occasion with England, what went right. Too often players walk around in their own bubble, headphones on or fiddling with their phones. The loss to Iceland led Chris Waddle, a World Cup semi-finalist, to angrily rebuke the headphone-clad, pampered generation. These are young lads on a trip of a lifetime. We're not saying getting stuck into the booze, but at least socialise with each other...

5. I will not leave the players in any doubt about who is in charge

Roy Hodgson ended his four-year stint as England manager

Whispers of discontent were often heard around Chantilly, where England were based - all too shortly - during Euro 2016. Reports of unhappiness with selection and formation then emerged after the defeat to Iceland, yet it was the players that let themselves and the country down. England's new manager needs to lay down the law and give little credence to suggestions he needs to earn their respect. Why should he respect them after this summer?

6. I will not get complacent

England coach Roy Hodgson looks at Jamie Vardy

Hodgson made six changes for the final Group B clash against Slovakia, despite the fact topping the pool was far from assured. Lacking inspiration and coherence, England were held to a goalless draw in St Etienne as Wales pipped them to the group, sending them into a more treacherous half of the draw. In the end it mattered little as they fell at the first hurdle to a country the size of Leicester, when hard-working and organised Iceland overawed England. Complacency appeared to seep into both management and players.