Leeds United legend Johnny Giles gave his stern verdict on England’s loss to Uruguay by hitting out at Hodgson’s call to play limited players, such as Welbeck and Henderson, and the lack of desire to go out and win the game.
Giles - who started his career at Manchester United – was a player that could never be called out on his lack of desire to win a game and it is that desire that helped him to numerous titles as a player. He won two FA Cups, two First Division titles and a League Cup among other things and in 1998 was included in the ‘100 League Legends’ alongside the likes of Stanley Matthews, Ian Rush, Gordon Banks and Bobby Moore. However, he was far than convinced by current England team’s desire to go out and win.
‘When you look at the great players there is a little bit of animal in them,’ said Giles. ‘It’s not very nice in human terms.’
‘There was a lot of things I did on the football pitch that was my profession to do and once the match was over hopefully I was okay.
‘Bobby Collins was a great Scottish player that played for Leeds, he was 10 years older than me, and he used to have a great saying when he was rating ratings: ‘Would he kill his Granny?’
‘It’s true, and Bobby Collins would kill his granny and grandfather to win a match.’
It was a sentiment that was shared by a number of England supporters after the game who criticised the manner of the defeat and apart from 15-20 minute spell in the second-half, the England team looked almost scared of really getting hold of the ball and playing to their capability.
The former Leeds United man summarised what England needed to do in the future to be successful, saying: ‘They need players that can really play, and be able to encourage their players to play. And, at times, if they have to kill their granny, they have to kill their granny’.
Roy Hodgson will no doubt want to get their meaningless match against Costa Rica out of the way on Tuesday and then head back to England in order for himself and the FA to assess what arguably has been the country’s worst World Cup showing in the history of the competition.