CHARLES GRAHAM - England has to go back to basics

AND so England have returned home from the European Championships having slightly exceeded expectations but still with their ears ringing from a volley of vitriol.

It’s hard for a fan not to get angry and frustrated with Roy Hodgson’s men, even if they are going through a transitional period and pessimistic pre-tournament predictions. After all, they represent the world’s best football league, all boast fantastic skills and are paid a king’s ransom for it.

Perhaps we were lulled into a false sense of security after gutsy/dependable results in the qualifying round. And everyone was saying you couldn’t get a cigarette paper between England and Italy before Sunday’s quarter-final.

But then reality kicked in and we discovered the differences, particularly in regard to passing and possession.

Let’s be honest: England were a lot luckier than they had been in previous tournaments and yet still managed to lose. Never mind the penalty hoodoo. They were going for a win rather than playing for a shoot-out but didn’t have the skill to do it.

The country which give the world football clearly needs to go back to the training pitch (including the grass roots ones) to hone skills that more successful teams take for granted.