Andy Ritchie: Marcus Antonsson is no gamble for Leeds United – unlike the job of succeeding Roy Hodgson

Marcus Antonsson in training with Leeds United.
Marcus Antonsson in training with Leeds United.
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ENGLAND’S performance in getting knocked out to Iceland in Euro 2016 on Monday evening was absolutely awful. I just couldn’t believe it.

The only player who came out of it with any credit whatsoever was Marcus Rashford, who did more in a few minutes than everyone else managed in the whole game.

I don’t understand why we played Jack Wilshere; he shouldn’t have even been there in the squad.

Wayne Rooney also had a terrible game, while Harry Kane looked absolutely exhausted.

Personally, I don’t know why we didn’t play Adam Lallana. I thought he had done all right in all the previous games.

Everybody – players and managers and coaches – has to take their share of the blame for yet another tournament failure.

We just looked clueless against Iceland and all they seemed to do was sit behind the ball and we had that against Slovakia when we couldn’t break them down.

You have to come up with a different plan surely to combat that.

It was so slow and laboured from England. We should have just thrown a few crosses in if it wasn’t working. We actually did that towards the end of the game and they looked a little bit vulnerable.

But, in the end, let’s face it, we got what we deserved and Iceland could have scored three or four in the end.

We just had no plan whatsoever and seemed to just think if we pass it and pass it, we would make holes.

But they were so well-disciplined and played like a team, while we looked like individuals.

For me, we still have some talented players who you can get something out of. We had shown that in some of the warm-up matches, when we beat the likes of Germany and looked good. But we just can’t get our heads right at tournaments.

Looking at the tournament, there’s obviously the likes of Germany in there, but Italy must have a real chance with the way they played the other day against Spain.

They look like a real team and have that passion and we don’t seem to have that. The Germans also – they want to play and really want to win.

We have something missing; I can’t put my finger on it.

Looking at the candidates to succeed Roy Hodgson, I wouldn’t baulk at Jurgen Klinsmann. I think he has got the passion for it.

We need someone like that; look at Antonio Conte for Italy, he kicks every ball and is shouting and ordering his players. We don’t do that.

Onto matters with Leeds United and they have brought in a relatively unknown Swedish striker for a big fee in Marcus Antonsson from Kalmar and while some would say it is a gamble, when you buy players from Sweden, their football and style is relatively similar to ours and perhaps more suited to transferring over here.

It might make it a little bit easier than with someone say coming over from South America and places like that. Sometimes, it can take a while to settle, but with the Scandinavians, they have got a similar mindset to football to us.

The signing of Antonsson will provide that bit of support to Chris Wood up front and provide a bit of liveliness and pace alongside him. Maybe he can be that link-up striker in the No 10 role to work with Wood, like Mirco Antenucci was.

It remains to be seen how well he does, but it seems that Garry Monk’s assistant Pep Clotet knows him well and rates him. I am sure he will be absolutely chomping at the bit to play and make an impact.

It is at the time of year now when deals start to get done. At the higher end, the fact that the Euros are still on has maybe stymied a few people, but things are now happening in the Championship.

Leeds obviously needed a striker. But let’s face it, they need a few other players too in a few other places.

One or two are making their moves. Look at Newcastle United with Matt Ritchie. I actually can’t believe that Bournemouth wanted to let him go as he has been one of their best players in the last few seasons.

Newcastle have also made a move for Dwight Gayle at Crystal Palace and on his day, he can be a match-winner and he has a real eye for goal and when he is bang at it, he can be unstoppable.

Matthew Pennington.

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