By Alun Evans and Andrew Beasley.
It was a game laden with Liverpool symbolism; the leading star of the team on one side and the award-winning supporting cast on the other; the ex-manager in the dugout. It was written in the stars then that Gerrard and Suarez should combine, albeit unintentionally on Gerrard’s part, to settle this tie. How ironic that it should be that oh-so-English of tactics, the long punt, that should be England’s undoing.
Hodgson, who had not long been relieved of his position as Liverpool manager when Suarez signed, had stated that the Uruguayan hit-man was not world class. A penny for Hodgson’s thoughts this morning after the Liverpool man single-handedly destroyed England’s hopes.
Uruguay had considerably less possession than England and considerably fewer shots both on and off target; and yet, when push came to shove, England lacked the cutting edge. They lacked someone truly World Class. For all their possession and for all of the chances England created they still looked toothless. Five of the English team were part of one of the most exciting teams of the decade, but pretty much the whole team played like they were complete strangers. People had exhorted Hodgson to play like Liverpool. He gave the fans what they wanted. Unfortunately, he had them playing like Hodgson’s Liverpool.
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