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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Wayne Rooney questions Hodgson's tactics which put England out of Euros

England captain Wayne Rooney has questioned whether Roy Hodgson's decisions in the Slovakia game led to the team's downfall at Euro 2016.

England started the campaign with four points against Russia and Wales, but were held to a goalless draw in the final group game against Slovakia, leaving them finishing second in Group B, behind Wales.

Rooney, along with five more of England's starters against Wales, were rested in that game, a decision the Manchester United man thinks may have cost the team their tournament momentum as they suffered a round-of-16 exit at the hands of surprise package Iceland, 

"If you leave [the tournament] playing your best, beaten by a better team, I accept that. But we didn't play. We had lost momentum from the Slovakia game and tournament football is about confidence. You get that from winning," Rooney told the Daily Mail.

"It was Roy's decision to make those changes against Slovakia and either way, the team he put out should have been able to win. But, right or wrong, I wanted to play and I can't deny that.

"No, I wouldn't have rested six players, It's more than half the team. It was a gamble and it didn't pay off.

"When I came on against Slovakia it was difficult to change the game, impossible really. I was running around just trying to get the energy back into the team.

"Watching, I felt we lacked aggression -- in the running, in the passing, we didn't have the tempo, so that's what I was trying to create. When you're on the bench it's frustrating because you always think you can bring something different."

Wayne Rooney and Roy Hodgson
England captain Wayne Rooney was rested for the final Group B game against Slovakia.

Rooney also questioned the tactics adopted by Hodgson, where the Three Lions tried to play a possession-based passing game that saw them dominate Iceland, only to lose out where it mattered most: goals.

"We were very poor against Iceland. Football can get lost in this new way of playing," he added. "Everyone is passing and moving when sometimes the simplest way -- get it out wide, get crosses in the box, pick up the second ball -- can be the best.

"It's not always the perfect way, the prettiest way, this vision people have of how football should be played -- but it might get you a goal.

"Possession's fine, but it needs to have direction to it, and most times that has to be towards goal.

"Every coach has his own thoughts on how it should be played, but if it's not working, what's the problem with going long, getting them on the back foot, make it uncomfortable for them?

"There are a lot of different ways to approach it, but pass, pass, pass, and then eventually pass back to your goalkeeper? For a forward player, that gets frustrating.

"You need to get the balance right. You can over-complicate football. You keep moving the ball but if you're not getting near the goal, what's the point?"

Sam Allardyce will lead England in his first game in-charge against Slovakia on Sept. 4.

With Hodgson's resignation and former Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce taking the reins, Rooney is hoping that the new manager will be able to find a solution to take full advantage and make the team tick as a unit.

He said: "That mentality must come from the manager. It is up to Sam Allardyce to get our players into a zone where they know exactly what they've got to do, how they've got to defend the game at 1-0 up, 2-0 up, how they're going to attack it if we go behind. Different plans, different scenarios.

"We end up becoming predictable, and if you play that way at the top level you get found out. The job now is to get that mentality from the players in the biggest matches, because I'm convinced the ability is there."

Allardyce's first chance to imprint his own methods will be on Sept. 4 when England go up against Slovakia in a Group F World Cup qualifier.

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