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England out of World Cup after Italy lose

England manager Roy Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson

England are out of the World Cup after Costa Rica beat Italy 1-0 tonight - now making it impossible for the Three Lions to roar into the next stage of the tournament, writes Graham Walker.

But Roy Hodgson will remain as England manager until the end of Euro 2016, FA chairman Greg Dyke has said.

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England’s 2-1 defeat to Uruguay always meant they were likely to exit the World Cup at the group stages for the first time since 1958.

Italy’s shock 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica resulted in England crashing out.

It is a bitter disappointment given the pre-tournament hope and meticulous preparations, raising serious questions as to what on earth went wrong.

Four-time world champions Italy and 2010 semi-finalists Uruguay were never going to be easy Group D rivals to overcome and so it proved.

England pushed the Azzurri close before losing 2-1, and then fell by the same scoreline with no such honour against Luis Suarez-inspired Uruguay on Thursday.

England had not lost on any of the 13 occasions Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka played together before the World Cup, where that run came to a crashing end. Both have struggled at the heart of defence, while the full-backs have not fared much better. Their inability to keep tight at the back has arguably been the biggest reason for their exit.

Hodgson, who has two years left on his contract, said following the Uruguay defeat that he would not resign, and on Friday Dyke gave him his full backing.

“We’re supportive of Roy Hodgson, we’ve asked him to stay as manager,” Dyke told reporters.

When asked by Sky Sports News if he felt Hodgson would remain in his job until the end of his contract at the 2016 European Championships, Dyke added: “That is the view of myself, of everybody else here (in Brazil) and of others in the FA.”

England lost their first match in Manaus against Italy last week and Luis Suarez’s deadly double saw Hodgson’s men off in Sao Paulo on Thursday night.

For England to qualify, Italy had to win their final two Group D games, and they would also have needed to end up with a better goal difference than Uruguay and Costa Rica, who they play in Belo Horizonte next Tuesday.

It was a highly improbable set of circumstances, but Dyke believed sacking Hodgson would be the wrong move.

“We do not see any value in changing,” Dyke added.

“We think Roy has done a good job and it is an approach over four years and we hope to do better in the European Championships.”

Hodgson also retains the full support of FA board members Sir Trevor Brooking, Alex Horne and Adrian Bevington, who installed the 66-year-old as manager following the resignation of Fabio Capello two years ago.

They have seen enough promise in Brazil to believe that Hodgson is the right man to take England through to Euro 2016, which is being held in France.

“Everybody thought we played really well in the first game and narrowly lost,” Dyke said when asked why England had lost both their opening World Cup games for the first time in history.

“In the second game it could have gone either way. We were not humiliated or anything like that. They were narrow defeats, but it is for the football people, not for me to identify why we did not win.”

England have shown some flashes of attacking flair in Brazil thanks to the exploits of youngsters Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley and Daniel Sturridge.

Ever since he took on the job of FA chairman, Dyke has targetted victory at the 2022 World Cup.

When he was asked whether that target was still attainable, Dyke said: “Yes, I do, but I think it means lots of changes in English football.

“I think there is a real chance that we can develop and win in 2022 - that is the aim.”

Dyke recently headed a commission looking into how to boost the number of English players in the Barclays Premier League.

He believes England’s chances of success will improve if the number of foreign players in the Premier League is reduced.

He added: “We know that we have a problem, that there are not as many English players playing in the Premier League, or even the Championship, now as there used to be, therefore that is the choice that is left, but that is what we have got to go from and I don’t think that is a cause for what has happened here.”

 

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