The Football Association chairman, Greg Dyke, has accused England’s players of being “scared” during their 2-1 Euro 2016 defeat against Iceland and questioned whether any manager would now want the job in the wake of Roy Hodgson’s resignation.
Dyke, who will step down from his FA role in three weeks’ time, said England team froze during their last-16 game on Monday, the national side’s most calamitous result since they were beaten 1-0 by the United States in the 1950 World Cup.
Having overseen early England exits at the 2014 World Cup and now Euro 2016, Dyke said Roy Hodgson’s successor as England manager could be a foreign coach but said he had to be steeped in English football. He also questioned why anyone would want the role, saying the media pressure was more intense than any other position in the game.
“I met Glenn Hoddle on the plane on the way back, and he said [they were] scared to death,” Dyke said on Wednesday.
“Once you go 2-1 down, the longer it went on, the more scared they were. They brought on [Marcus] Rashford, who’s 19, he’s got nothing to lose, he wasn’t scared at all. He was on for five minutes, he went past him three times. Once he lost the ball but twice he went through.
“They were just scared. It’s the same in all sport. Really talented sportsmen can just freeze. That’s what happens.”
Dyke said sports psychology could have a greater role to play in helping England stars cope with the pressures of a knockout tournament. “Why do we not do well in competitions, in a tournament, when we won every game [in the qualifying group]?” Dyke said.
“We beat much better sides in the run-up to it [than Iceland]. Why, what’s that about? We need to understand that. And in the end you have got to get into the fact we have got fewer and fewer English players to choose from.”
Dyke said it was a “terrible” way for England to go out. He had previously said Hodgson, who resigned immediately after the Iceland defeat, could have his contract renewed if they reached the semi-finals or got to the quarter finals and played well.
But Dyke will have no role in choosing Hodgson’s successor with less than a month to go at the FA.
With the Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, among names in the frame for the manager’s job, Dyke said he was open to a foreign manager taking charge of the national side again.
“It’s got to be somebody who really knows English football,” he said. “But there’s loads of them now, more of them than there are English. You need someone who knows about English football. But Martin [Glenn, FA chief executive] made clear you go for the best person. The harder question is why anybody would want it.”
Dyke, the former BBC director general who was speaking after the launch of a report into the future of broadcasting in central London, made a TV documentary for Channel 4 20 years ago about the pressures on the England manager. “That’s the challenge. They get media pressure that no one else in football gets.”