Former England greats Gary Lineker and Michael Owen were highly critical of their national team’s dull 0-0 draw with Ukraine in Kiev on Tuesday night, prompting England coach Roy Hodgson to leap to his team’s defense.
Lineker, now a television host, had initially tweeted that England was “awful” in KIev, but this was later deleted from his account and replaced with: “Good result for England ... Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina et al, you’re in big trouble! What happens to some of these players when they pull on an England shirt?” Former England and Liverpool striker Owen also tweeted: ‘’In terms of looking to the future, it’s hard to be positive. Few good performances, few average and a couple poor.”
When asked about these and other reactions back in England, a furious Hodgson said: “If expectations upon us are so great that we come to places like Ukraine and expect to roll teams over, it will be difficult for us ever to get a good result. I will stick to my ignorance. I think it is a good result ... I am surprised to hear people say that what I thought was a good performance has become yet again underwhelming.”
Despite the draw, England is still in first place in UEFA Qualifying Group H, one point ahead of both Ukraine, in second, and Montenegro, in third.