Barton delivers damning verdict on England's future

Joey Barton Interview Close Up

England have been knocked out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Joey Barton has warned of a worrying future unless drastic changes are made.

The Three Lions were eliminated from the tournament following Costa Rica's surprise 1-0 win against Italy and will face the CONCACAF side in their final game on Tuesday.

Despite lower expectations than usual, England failed to follow up on an encouraging performance against Italy in Thursday's 2-1 loss to Uruguay and have been knocked out in the first round for the first time since 1958.

QPR midfielder Joey Barton has called for a "drastic overhaul" if England are to revive their status as an elite footballing nation in the future.

"We can do a couple of things now. Either continue this race to the bottom of elite international football or make some drastic overhauls and start to rebuild our national game," he said on Twitter.

England manager Roy Hodgson has come under pressure following England's worst World Cup showing for over 50 years and Barton believes that the 66-year-old has to be replaced.

"Hodgson and co have to be sacked, no other option. A sustained period in the elite footballing wilderness awaits unless we address this right now.

"Only problem is there are no credible candidates. A severe lack of investment in grassroots, a shrinking pool of talent and a coaching void.

"I'd be tempted to bring in a top coach regardless of nationality who can inspire a generation of coaches as part of a job requisite" Barton added.

The 31-year-old, who has one England cap, is currently earning his coaching badges and made a valid point in his blunt review of the national side's setup.

The grassroots football structure in England must be addressed and FA chairman Greg Dyke has set England the target of winning the World Cup in 2022 with investment into the younger generations.

Dyke has said that Hodgson will remain in charge until at least 2016 and was pleased with the performance's of some of England's young stars.

"We are supportive of Roy. I already see people asking the question, 'Will he stay?' The answer is yes. He came to do a four-year cycle leading up to Euro 2016.

"There are a lot of young players who got blooded here and got into tournament football."

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