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England player ratings

Another major quarter-final, another exit on penalties for England. It may sound like the same old story for the England national team however, on this occasion England didn’t underachieve or weren’t victims of bad luck or poor refereeing decisions, it was simply as far as the current crop of players could have been expected to get.

Joe Hart

Hart was a safe pair of hands and reassuring presence behind the defence, making sharp saves when called upon during the game. Most disappointingly for him despite his visible bravado during the penalty shootout, he was unable to save any of Italy’s penalties.

Overall Joe Hart has had a very strong tournament, there was never really any doubt that he would need to be one of England’s best players for them to stand a chance and he fulfilled that. His is one of the few positions England have sorted for the foreseeable future.

Vs Italy - 7/10

Euro 2012 - 8/10

Glen Johnson

Johnson was England’s last line of defence on numerous occasions, using his pace and positional sense to get himself in the right place at the right time. He was unable to convert a good chance in the first half when England actually posed an attacking threat, but for most of the game was manning his station at right back.

Although a naturally attacking full-back he was only able to show glimpses of his ability going forward, overall Johnson did the job required and stayed disciplined throughout and when needed he was able to cover for a lack of pace in the centre of defence. Over the tournament he hasn’t always used the ball well but he was far from the only player guilty of that.

Vs Italy - 8/10

Euro 2012 – 7/10

John Terry

As we’ve come to expect with Terry, he puts his body on the line time and time again for England. However, his lack of pace was evident and made England look vulnerable in behind, with a simple long ball all that was necessary to force the defence to scramble. He did however make up for his misjudgements putting in several last ditch tackles to thwart Balotelli a number of times.

On occasion his lack of pace was highlighted and exploited by teams but he made up for it with his positioning and shear guts to stop the attacker at all costs. This will perhaps be his last major tournament for England which will be sad for him on a personal level but he has been one of the most consistent performers for England during a consistently disappointing time for the national team.

Vs Italy - 7/10

Euro 2012 - 8/10

Joleon Lescott

Lescott was a big reason why England were able to hold on for as long as they did, and looked solid all night.

Proved his has what it takes at international level, with strong performances throughout the group stage and the quarter-final. He was a defensive rock especially in the air and carried a serious threat from set pieces.

Vs Italy - 8/10

Euro 2012 - 8/10

Ashley Cole

Dependable as ever, never let’s his country down, also his level of fitness showed as he was one of the few players who didn’t look dead on his feet in extra-time. He was unable to convert his penalty, but other than that he rarely put a foot wrong.

Approaching 100 caps for England, and he again showed why he is one of the few world class players in the England team. He has performed well despite a lack of protection from the left of midfield with Cole having the added job of babysitting Ashley Young and covering for his lack of positional sense and awareness.

Vs Italy - 8/10

Euro 2012 - 9/10

James Milner

Optimised England’s attitude and resilience, but also their technical frailties. Milner provided crucial cover on the right hand side and was a big part of how England wanted to set up. However, he did not offer enough going forward and his ability in possession and his final ball were often lacking.

Over the tournament he has been a tireless worker who almost acted as an extra full-back at times, because of this he was not really able to show the best of his ability going forward. Nonetheless, he was a big part of why England were hard to beat, noted in Roy Hodgson’s decision to keep faith in him despite clamours for Theo Walcott to start.

Vs Italy - 6/10

Euro 2012 - 7/10

Steven Gerrard

Gerrard went down with cramp 20 minutes before the end of the 90 minutes and faded badly in extra-time. He again showed his leadership rallying the troops, but a player of his ability needed more of the ball to affect the game.

Has been England’s main creative spark, more often than not providing the assist for England’s goals. He made Fabio Capello’s decision to overlook him as captain all the more ridiculous as he showed his leadership throughout on and off the pitch.

Gerrard so often set the tempo for England and showed excellent distribution switching the play and starting counterattacks. His set piece delivery was consistently threatening, and why it was where England looked most dangerous however, the Italy game did look one game too far.

Vs Italy - 6/10

Euro 2012 - 9/10

Scott Parker

Worked tirelessly and left nothing on the pitch, before coming off in extra-time, replaced by Jordan Henderson. He didn’t use the ball well enough and in the second half and extra-time he and Gerrard needed to provide more options for the player in possession.

Throughout the tournament, Parker provided a buffer in front of the defence and patrolled the space diligently, with a grit and determination characteristic of this England side. At times when England had the ball he and Gerrard perhaps needed to provide more options for the man in possession however, most of the time the opposition had an extra man in the centre of midfield which made it hard to execute forward passes, with much of England’s possession moving sideways and backwards.

Vs Italy - 6/10

Euro 2012 - 8/10

Ashley Young

All in all it was a pretty miserable night for Ashley Young in particular. He played poorly, carelessly giving away possession too often. He was unable to show his ability to run at defenders as whenever he received the ball he looked like he couldn’t wait to get rid of it again. To compound this he missed his penalty, striking the bar.

Early on in the tournament he looked bright for England and possessed a creative spark however, he also seemed to lack self-confidence and too often looked to pass the ball and the responsibility to others around him. His positional sense was non existent and he often left Ashley Cole exposed or left to pick up the wrong man.

It is difficult to know how much his Euro 2012 experience will affect him, but you suspect there is a quality international player somewhere within him, he just didn’t show it this time around.

Vs Italy - 5/10

Euro 2012 - 5/10

Wayne Rooney

Not the Wayne Rooney we’re used to seeing for Manchester United, but an all too familiar sight in an England shirt. Clearly looked off the pace having not had the playing time.

It was always going to be difficult for Rooney to immediately come in and make an impact after missing the first two games. He was again left frustrated this time by his own lack of sharpness and match fitness which is disappointing because he seems to have matured and grown mentally working under Roy Hodgson. Had he played in the first two games he may have been sharper but as it is another major tournament passes by England’s most gifted player.

Vs Italy - 5/10

Euro 2012 - 5/10

Danny Welbeck

The Manchester United youngster had a good chance in the first half after combining well with Rooney, but he was also largely neutralised and was unable to hold the ball up when it did reach him.

Euro 2012 was the first time Welbeck has had a run in the side and he showed glimpses of what he can do. He has all the physical attributes and composure in front of goal however, he probably suffered from the way England played as he was largely nullified by a lack of involvement for large spells of games. Welbeck is young and has shown enough to suggest in the future he could spearhead England’s attack.

Vs Italy - 6/10

Euro 2012 - 7/10

Theo Walcott

After coming on in the second half, he looked dangerous on the few times he received the ball in space, but there was not enough support in England’s counterattacks so he was easy to nullify.

Walcott had another of his memorable moments for England against Sweden, when he almost single-handedly won the game however, the feeling is these performances are too few and far between. Had England looked to play a more expansive game he would have been crucial but his lack of defensive quality was the main reason he was limited to an impact substitute.

Vs Italy - 6/10

Euro 2012 - 7/10

Andy Carroll

Ended up being England’s only outlet in the second half and extra-time, with ball after ball launched up to him. Nobody made runs off him so it didn’t matter that he won every aerial challenge.

There is always a slight air of desperation when Andy Carroll plays, as everybody knows that what comes next is usually a shower of long balls that can be effective but look almost Neanderthal-like compared to the way teams like Spain and Germany play. However, when called upon, Carroll did what was asked and got in the face of the opponent and let them know they would not have an easy ride. He showed signs that he is better on the ball than he is given credit for however, his lack of pace does make him slightly one dimensional.

Vs Italy - 6/10

Euro 2012 - 7/10

Jordan Henderson

Henderson provided a much needed boost of energy to the midfield when he came on in extra-time even if most England fans far from relished his introduction. He basically filled space and closed down players for the remainder of extra-time, and like so many players, never got the chance to venture forward.

It’s no secret that had Frank Lampard or Gareth Barry been fit, Jordan Henderson would have watched Euro 2012 from home. As it was, he was limited to a couple of substitute appearances where he was basically a fresh pair of legs used to close out games. He doesn’t look to currently have the quality England will need in the future if they are to challenge in major tournaments however, he has age on his side and the experience in Poland and Ukraine will have done him no harm.

Vs Italy - 6/10

Eur0 2012 - 6/10

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Like Danny Welbeck, he showed that things are not all bad for England and there is some bright young talent. He was slightly unfortunate that once Rooney came back into the side he was the obvious one to miss out however, he was also one of the few players who did not shake with fear when they received the ball and was willing to take the game to the opposition. The experience will help him mature and he will definitely be an important player for England going forward.

Euro 2012 - 7/10

Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson has already significantly changed how the England national team is perceived by its own country. Hodgson has firstly avoided an embarrassing showing at Euro 2012, but much greater than that he has instilled a bit of pride and enjoyment back into the England team after the grind of the last World Cup.

On a personal level Hodgson has done nothing but reinforce the FA’s decision to appoint him. He has gotten the big calls right and made the England team actually look like a team and not just a group of highly paid footballers who can’t wait to get back to their Premier League clubs.

The only questionable decision in hindsight is the inclusion of Wayne Rooney following his pretty dismal showing however, few will fault Hodgson for that as Rooney is the only player coming into the team you felt could significantly alter England’s chances had he been at his best.

At least this time around England can leave with their heads held high having given everything and gotten as far as their collective ability could possibly take them.

The real work starts now for Hodgson as he will need to build for the future and try to put in place a system to level the playing field and give England the chance to produce players of the quality routinely done so by Spain and Germany.

Euro 2012 - 9/10

By Duncan Proctor

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