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The former Southampton great conceded that the Three Lions suffered from an inability to keep possession, stressing that Roy Hodgson must look to change his ‘rigid’ 4-4-2 system

Matt Le Tissier has accused England’s players of looking unfit during their Euro 2012 campaign.

After a promising opening round that saw them finish top of Group D, the Three Lions crashed out in the quarter-finals on Sunday after a 4-2 defeat on penalties against Italy.

Le Tissier, who made eight appearances country, believes England looked exhausted after chasing the ball for much of the game, and suggested that the fitness of Roy Hodgson’s men was a cause for concern throughout all four of their matches.
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“We look like the most unfit team out of all the others we have played," he told Talksport. "I know you get more tired chasing the ball all the time but there was no spark.

“The possession favoured the Italians. That’s where we have to try and be better, by keeping the ball.

“The Italians closed down well. We didn’t pass the ball well enough under pressure. The 4-4-2 formation didn’t suit the game, we were overrun in midfield and that allowed [Andrea] Pirlo to control the match with his passing. We needed to get someone closer to him, more often.”

England’s wingers were widely criticised after the team’s exit from the tournament, with James Milner accused of offering no attacking threat while Ashley Young was blasted for a string of unconvincing displays.

Le Tissier agreed that the wide men had failed to impress during the tournament, while suggesting that Hodgson must look to change his formation if he is to get the best out of his current charges.

“Roy Hodgson has a way that he likes to play and he’s rigid in that,” he added. “It’ll be interesting to see if he adapts or if he sticks with 4-4-2.

“The wide players have let England down. There wasn’t enough from Ashley Young or James Milner.

"They were both pretty poor and were our weakest spots across the course of the tournament.”