Whenever England fail in an international tournament, one man usually receives the majority of the blame.
It was Gareth Southgate in Euro ’96, David Beckham in World Cup ’98 and David Seaman in World Cup 2002.
While England are far from out of Euro 2016, there is only one person getting the blame for the disappointing 1-1 draw with Russia in the opening match.
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That man is manager Roy Hodgson who received plenty of criticism for his substitutions during the match on Saturday night. With the Three Lions leading 1-0, the boss decided to keep Jamie Vardy on the bench and opted to bring on Jack Wilshere for Wayne Rooney and James Milner for Raheem Sterling.
After the match, Joey Barton blamed Hodgson for his changes, saying that he was “so, so negative with substitution.”
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However, it seems that it’s not just the substitutions that have frustrated Barton. The midfielder went on a lengthy rant criticising the England manager.
“He’s not a leader. You wouldn’t follow him, would you?" he said.
“He’s not energetic. He’s not someone you look at and think: ‘Wow, I’d love to play for this guy!’. He doesn’t give you that feeling. He looks boring. He looks like he’d drain the energy out of you because he is a worrier.
“Compare him to Jose Mourinho. If Mourinho was managing England then we’d have won that game comfortably the other night. So, yes, I really do worry about England.
“On Saturday, we had a better team than the Russians and I can’t criticise the players because the lads played really well and created chances. They could have been a bit more clinical maybe but these things happen. They did enough to win the game.
“The worry is when you play well and don’t win matches because the sign of a good side is one that can play poorly and still win. England are the complete opposite of that and I think it’s down to the manager because the players are there.”
Half-time team talk
England had dominated the first 45 minutes at the Stade Velodrome against Russia but allowed the opponents to come back into the match during the second period. And Barton has blamed - yep, you’ve guessed it - Hodgson for his uninspiring team talks.
"They went in after playing really well, full of confidence. But they came out for the second half and they were crap.
“So what’s been said in there at half time? Surely the players should be bouncing off the walls and thinking about going back out to kill the game off.
“But England came out and got worse. So I’m thinking: ‘What are they saying to them in there?’.
“Then you think about the people in there, the ones giving them the information. There’s Roy, who I’ve not got a hugely high opinion of as a manager. I don’t care what anyone thinks of him, I don’t really believe in him.”
We get the impression that Barton isn’t really a big fan of Hodgson.
Hopefully, he can prove Barton wrong on Thursday when England face a crunch match against rivals Wales.
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