Carragher: England too soft because academies create babies

Date published: Wednesday 29th June 2016 9:18

Jamie Carragher has branded England’s players “too soft” following their exit from Euro 2016.

Manager Roy Hodgson resigned after the 2-1 defeat to Iceland meant the Three Lions were knocked out of the competition in France.

However, former England and Liverpool defender Carragher believes the players should take their share of the blame.

He told the Daily Mail: “Too soft. The more I think about England’s humiliation against Iceland, the more those two words come into my mind.

“This is what England’s players have become. The Academy Generation – for that is what they are – are soft physically and soft mentally.

“We saw the end result in all its gruesome detail in Nice on Monday when another major tournament ended in calamity and blame.

“Roy Hodgson, inevitably, carries the can. There was no way he could continue as England manager after the results and performances at Euro 2016 and he cannot escape the spotlight – but don’t for one moment think the players should escape liability.

“I call them the Academy Generation because they have come through in an era when footballers have never had more time being coached. At this point I want to make it clear I am not pointing the finger at academy coaches, as others will do.

“But they get ferried to football schools, they work on immaculate pitches, play in pristine training gear every day and everything is done to ensure all they have to do is focus on football. We think we are making them men but actually we are creating babies.

“Life has been too easy. They have been pampered from a young age, had money thrown at them and, when things have gone wrong, they have been told it is never their fault. Some 12- and 13-year-olds have agents now. Why?

“It never is the players’ fault when England crash out of a competition, is it? Well, it’s time to explode that myth.

“I call some of the squad, I don’t believe it applies to the full group, too soft. It’s always someone else’s fault when they don’t produce – the coach picked the wrong team, someone played the wrong pass – so when I heard suggestions the senior players were unhappy with Hodgson’s training, I was incensed.

“Why won’t they take responsibility? They live lives now with personal assistants, player liaison officers, nannies and agents organising every little detail for them. Some wouldn’t even know how to book a holiday or an appointment at the dentist for themselves.

“It strips character. You can see that in the interviews they give…there really is no point in watching them, as they are afraid of saying anything.”

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