Steven Gerrard appears set to bow out on his international career after leading England during their worst World Cup showing since 1958, and the Liverpool midfielder will have to shoulder much of the blame for the failings of his country.
There is, of course, still a remote chance that England could indeed reach the knockout phase of this tournament should Italy win their next two matches, with Roy Hodgson’s side then tasked with achieving victory over Costa Rica by a set amount of goals.
But England could be out of the World Cup by Friday evening should Costa Rica clinch another shock victory, this time over Italy, and Hodgson’s side will be left to reflect on what went wrong against Uruguay in particular.
AS stick the knife in
Gerrard’s performance, or lack of it perhaps, has been highlighted as a key reason for the demise in Sao Paulo on Thursday night, with Spanish newspaper AS refusing to even provide the Liverpool midfielder with a match rating.
AS chose to rate all players out of three, but Gerrard was the only one on either side who was not afforded even a single digit. Liverpool teammates Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling, meanwhile, achieved a rating of only one out of three, as did Danny Welbeck, Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill.
WATCH: The reaction to England's World Cup exit
Panned on social media
Gerrard was poor indeed, as were numerous other members of the England team, but the 34-year-old must accept the brunt of the criticism following his role in the decisive goal scored by Luis Suarez.
It was an unfortunate moment, most certainly, but Gerrard’s intervention - which became an inadvertent assist - showed a lack of intent after initially being caught out of position, and it was just the sort of moment the critics were after.
Gerrard had already come in for significant flak on social media before that header to Suarez, but after it he was identified as the key reason for the dramatic England demise. This may not be the end for England in Brazil, or for Gerrard just yet. But it is only a matter of time until Hodgson’s side are sent packing, and for their captain to be drift off into the annals of international history.
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