Roy Keane claimed England are not learning from their mistakes after their 2-1 defeat in the Czech Republic put Euro 2020 qualification on hold.
The Three Lions fell to their first qualifying defeat in a decade as debutant Zdenek Ondrasek secured the Czechs a deserved win against Gareth Southgate’s stuttering side.
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Victory in Prague would have assured progress to next summer’s tournament with three matches to spare – but Keane sensed England were not up to the task from the first minute.
“I don’t think England looked right from the start of the game,” the Sky Sports pundit said on ITV. “They didn’t seem sharp, a lot of bickering going on towards the end, which is fine because they’re upset.
“To me, there was almost a bit of arrogance from England.”
Few expected anything other than an away win given the 5-0 shellacking handed out to the Czechs at Wembley in March’s Group A opener at Wembley.
Expectation grew with Harry Kane’s early spot-kick, only for Jakub Brabec to quickly bring the Czech Republic level and provide the platform for substitute Ondrasek to punish a ponderous England performance and seal a shock 2-1 win.
England player ratings
Michael Keane and Declan Rice were among the players to struggle most in England’s shock 2-1 loss to Czech Republic.
Brabec’s immediate equaliser means that 36 per cent of goals England have conceded under Gareth Southgate have come from set pieces.
Keane added: “It’s certainly a big problem, and Gareth, having been a centre-half, will probably be having sleepless nights a bit.
“Sometimes you have to lose to win, as long as you’re learning your lessons. But what I’ve seen from this team over the last year, and there’s no need to panic, but they don’t seem to be learning from those sloppy mistakes. Against a better team, you will suffer for it.”
The result ended a 43-match unbeaten run in Euro and World Cup qualifying matches stretching back to a 1-0 loss in Ukraine in October 2009 – and was an outcome Southgate’s men could hardly argue with.
After Kane opened the scoring in the fifth minute, Jordan Pickford would have a far busier night in Prague than he will have expected and was beaten five minutes from time by debutant Ondrasek – a gut punch that will not derail Euro 2020 qualification but raises big questions.
Keane said: “There’s no need to panic. Gareth’s record has been outstanding. But my concern always for these players, is that I think sometimes these players don’t learn. You can’t keep waiting for these lads.
“Danny Rose gave a performance tonight, my goodness, someone has got to get hold of that guy. Shocking, abysmal. I think he’ll be the same in another three or four years, some players don’t learn from their mistakes, and you will suffer for it.”
When asked if this result was a reality check, Southgate said: “Yes I think so.
“We are always very realistic about where we sit. We have an exciting team that usually look like scoring goals. We know there is a long way for us to go to become one of the top teams in Europe. We’ve got to respond to that performance on Monday and accept any criticism that comes our way.”
“Tonight we didn’t do enough to win the game,” he added.
“Our performance wasn’t good enough, simple as that. We probably should have got a draw out of it, but in the end the goal we conceded was typical of the chances we gave away throughout the night.
“There are things we can look back on, but collectively we have to accept that there weren’t enough good performances.”
“I thought we started the second half a lot better, [we were] a lot more of a threat. We had chances, good chances to win the game. But we conceded too many poor chances and we gave the ball away too many times.”
Trippier: We gave them too many chances
England now head to Bulgaria on Monday following this reality check, but the result in Prague certainly offers cause for concern.
The Czech Republic had 17 shots in this match, the most England have faced in a qualifying match since March 2013, when Montenegro had 19 in a World Cup qualifier.
“We went 1-0 up through a penalty and then just gave them too many chances,” Kieran Trippier told Sky Sports.
“They won a lot of second balls and had a lot of possession. We all know that we can play so much better. We didn’t pass it wel and didn’t keep the ball.
“It’s good that there’s a game coming up on Monday as it gives us a chance to put things right.”
England now go to Bulgaria in Sofia on Monday night at 7.45pm, which you can follow on SkySports.com and the Sky Sports app, while Czech Republic host Northern Ireland in a friendly on Monday at 6pm, live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event.