Joachim Löw offered England a crumb of consolation yesterday when the Germany coach said that he believed under Roy Hodgson the team would be more successful at the next World Cup finals in 2014 than they have been in previous years.
Löw, whose side face Italy in the semi-finals of Euro 2012 tonight, said that under Hodgson the team looked much better than the England side Germany beat 4-1 at the World Cup in South Africa. Nevertheless, he said he had no obvious solutions as to why the English had failed to make it into the last four of a major tournament again.
Löw said: "I don't know why. It's hard to answer. The English were much better in this tournament than in 2010. When they played us then, they were a team who had a lot of problems. They were a very well organised team [at Euro 2012]. Roy Hodgson has brought order into the side and has done a great job.
"England will develop under him in the next few years and, in the next tournament, they'll play a better role than they did here and certainly than they did in 2010."
Hodgson defended Wayne Rooney yesterday over former manager Fabio Capello's criticism of the player that he only performed for Manchester United. Capello said Rooney must "only understand Scottish" – a reference to Sir Alex Ferguson – which itself was a response to Rooney's earlier observation that communication was now easier under a native English speaker in Hodgson.
Hodgson told talkSport: "Capello is entitled to his opinions, I suppose. I don't know what relationship he would have had with Wayne but I always think it's a bit cheap to kid on a player who was so anxious to do well.
"His desire to do well was enormous. In the final game [against Italy] he, like one or two other players, maybe didn't play to the level he can, but that's what football is about. If every player was quite simply a robot and all you had to do was plug him in and he achieved that standard every time, then football would be a very simple game and we wouldn't need coaches."