The fetid carcass of England's Euro 2016 exit to Iceland is still being prodded at this morning, as the English Sunday papers continue the post-mortem of their nation's Great Humiliation. Stories began to come out of the camp within 24 hours, as the players had apparently "lost faith" in Hodgson throughout the tournament.
Another insider story was published in today's edition of The Observer, as Daniel Taylor reports that England were disrupted by a rift between coach Gary Neville and manager Roy Hodgson. Here are a couple of lines from the piece, which can be read in full here:
While the England players bonded well during the tournament, it has emerged there was friction behind the scenes when it came to Hodgson and members of his backroom staff.
Although the relevant people all have considerable respect for one another, in the worst moments there was a clear divide about the team’s methods and, in particular, signs of tension between Hodgson and Neville.
Others became involved, with Hodgson’s methods openly being questioned by his own staff. “The players got on fine,” this newspaper has been told. “It was the coaches who fell out.”
The piece was sketchy on the detail of exactly what both men fell out over, merely stating that:
Hodgson’s training methods – questioned by Steven Gerrard after the last World Cup – were one source of the disagreements. Neville had a close ally in Dave Watson, the goalkeeping coach. Players have complained of mixed messages and the general sense of confusion is not eased by the revelation that one turned to the dugout during the Iceland defeat and asked where a team-mate was supposed to be playing.
Gary Neville has since tweeted his belief that the story is inaccurate:
this is absolute bullshit! Apology? Removal of article? Let me know!
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) July 3, 2016
Neville left his position with England following Hodgson's resignation.