Lineker: England’s performance a step back to the dark ages

The former Tottenham striker has criticised the national side’s tactics against Ireland on Twitter, accusing manager Roy Hodgson’s team of being “predictable and dated”
Former England striker Gary Lineker has launched a scathing criticism of the side's performance in their 1-1 draw with Republic of Ireland at Wembley.

Roy Hodgson’s side went a goal down on 13 minutes after Shane Long headed the visitors in front, before Frank Lampard equalised with his 29th England goal 10 minutes later.

The Three Lions missed several presentable opportunities to win the match late on, but the contest was marred by long passages of uninspired football from both sides.
And former striker Lineker, who scored 48 times in 80 games for England between 1984 and 1992, has criticised Hodgson’s 4-4-2 system and unimaginative tactics for the game.

“Brazil will thrash us if we line up the same way,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Even though results haven't been great, felt tactically England were maturing, but this is a step back to the dark ages of two lines of four.

“Don't like England playing this system. So easy to play against. Predictable and dated.

“It's not about playing in straight lines, it's about playing between the lines. Depth gives flexibility, passing alternatives, creativity.”

Hodgson’s England have lost just once since a quarter-final defeat to Italy at Euro 2012, and after the match the former West Brom manager spoke positively about his team’s performance.

“I can't be too disappointed with the way we tried to win the game,” he told reporters. “We were probing, trying all sorts of ways of getting around them.

“In terms of what we're asking the players to do, there were a lot of positives.”

England lie second in their World Cup 2014 qualifying group, two points behind Montenegro with four games still to play. They will meet Brazil in another friendly game in Rio on Sunday.