The former Scotland international also suggested the Three Lions’ route to the last four was relatively simple
Graeme Souness did not hold back on his criticism of England players Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard as well as manager Gareth Southgate after their World Cup semi-final exit.
The former Liverpool star – who made 54 appearances for Scotland between 1974-86 – claimed the Three Lions were punished in midfield after getting their system wrong against Croatia in the 2-1 semi-final defeat.
Southgate’s men made the perfect start with a brilliant free-kick by Kieran Trippier in the fifth minute.
But Ivan Perisic levelled the game midway through the second-half before Mario Mandzukic’s poacher’s goal won the match in the second-half of extra-time.
England’s World Cup campaign won the hearts of many supporters but Souness was not having any of it, suggesting the Three Lions’ path to the last four of the tournament was relatively simple.
Working as a pundit for Qatar-based BeIN Sports, he said: “I want to emphasise the midfield.
“You can’t win the big trophies, you can’t dominate football matches, you can’t put yourself in a position where you are not giving the ball away unless you’ve got good players in midfield who can keep the ball.
“I come back to Lingard and Dele Alli – two players who want to get on the end of things after there has been clever play by somebody else.
“They don’t want to get involved in keeping the ball and dominating possession.
“They want to be involved in scoring the goals and getting on the end of things.
“And the make-up of the team was all wrong tonight. All wrong tonight. When they come up against a decent team, I think it’s inevitable that they were going to struggle tonight.
“Let me explain. They played the worst team in the tournament in Panama. They played, along with Saudi Arabia, probably the second worst team in the tournament, Tunisia.
“Put a line through the Belgium game, that doesn’t count.
“Then they play Colombia and in the second half, Colombia were much better than them. England came back in extra-time but only after a Colombia player hit the crossbar.
“They get through on penalties.
“Then they play a team in Sweden who were in awe of England. Both played a similar sort of game; long ball and feed off the bits.
“Tonight is the first time, other than the Belgium game, that they have come up against a team who wants to pop it around and keep possession – and they really, really were shown up for being a back-to-front team playing very basic football.”
Former Republic of Ireland international Roy Keane also said England lacked the quality to beat the Croats while working as a pundit for ITV sparking a debate with Ian Wright which nearly spilled over into an argument.
The game also saw top scorer of the 2018 World Cup so far Harry Kane fail to make a real impact on arguably England’s biggest game in 28 years – something that fans noticed on Twitter.
Souness added: “Harry Kane never got a kick tonight. Prior to tonight, he had five shots on target in all the games.
“Harry Kane does not get shots on target because nobody is passing him any quality passes.
“He’s not getting any supply. Harry Kane will come back from that with the Golden Boot, but I don’t know the boy he might be happy, but Harry Kane will not be happy playing in that style of football.”
While their hopes of winning their second World Cup are over, England still have one more game to play in Russia when they take on Belgium in the third place play-off in St Petersburg on Saturday afternoon – a game you can listen to live on talkSPORT from 3pm.
Meanwhile, Croatia march on to their first World Cup final where they face France on Sunday afternoon – a game you can also see live on talkSPORT from 4pm.
Source : TalkSport