The Argentina legend was disappointed by the performance of the England captain and believes he let his side down, particularly with his role in Uruguay’s winner
Diego Maradona believes Steven Gerrard needed to give England much more against Uruguay when the two teams met in Sao Paulo on Thursday.
The Liverpool midfielder has been criticised for his display in the 2-1 defeat in the Group D encounter, playing a negative role in both of Luis Suarez’s strikes, with England only managing to reply through a solitary Wayne Rooney goal.
Maradona believes that Gerrard, along with the entire Three Lions defence, should be held responsible for the defeat and singled out Roy Hodgson’s captain for particular criticism.
“For England, who dominated the second half but were let down by the final pass or the final touch, it was the same old story of what could have been,” the 53-year-old wrote in his column for Times of India.
“Gerrard and the English defence must take the blame for both Uruguay goals. When [Nicolas] Lodeiro started his run before the first, Gerrard could have done better.
“But Lodeiro passed it perfectly for [Edinson] Cavani, whose sublime cross eluded the central defenders and found an unmarked Suarez waiting joyously inside the box.
“It was Gerrard again who made a mess of a long shot from the Uruguayan goalkeeper after England had equalised. The ball went to Suarez, who once again found a lot of room in the penalty area before unleashing a ferocious shot.
“You can’t afford [to do] that with a striker of his class and England paid the price.”
Maradona also hailed the performance of la Celeste front man Suarez, believing his ability to find the net whilst England’s Wayne Rooney missed chances was a key difference between the two sides.
“Apart from scoring the only English goal, Rooney headed one onto the crossbar and on another occasion, failed to beat the goalkeeper from close-range,” the 1986 World Cup winner added.
“It summed up the tale of the two strikers.
“While Suarez became a hero by converting two of the chances he got, Rooney capitalised on just one of the several he had, and that made the difference in the fate of the teams.
“Uruguay won because they were better in handling their scoring opportunities.”