Wayne Rooney questions Roy Hodgson's Euro tactics


After two opening group stage encounters left the three Lions on four points, a number of key players were rested in the 0-0 draw against Slovakia which resulted in a second-place finish in the group – a result which Rooney feels had a major bearing on the team’s outcome at the tournament.

"If you leave [the tournament] playing your best, beaten by a better team, I accept that. But we didn't play. 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.

"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.

"Watching, I felt we lacked aggression - in the running, in the passing, we didn't have the tempo, so that's what I was trying to create. When you're on the bench it's frustrating because you always think you can bring something different."

Rooney also felt Hodgson got the side’s tactics wrong in their knockout loss to Iceland.

"We were very poor against Iceland,” he said. “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.

"It's not always the perfect way, the prettiest way, this vision people have of how football should be played - but it might get you a goal.

"Possession's fine, but it needs to have direction to it, and most times that has to be towards goal.

"Every coach has his own thoughts on how it should be played, but if it's not working, what's the problem with going long, getting them on the back foot, make it uncomfortable for them?

"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?"

Sam Allardyce has since been appointed new England coach, with his first game a World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on 4 September.

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