The Ashes 2013-14 January 6, 2014

'Spineless ... a weak and feeble effort'

ESPNcricinfo staff
A selection of former England players had their say in the media about the team's woeful performance in Australia

The ECB review into England's 5-0 Ashes defeat will give every player and member of the support staff the opportunity for their say. ESPNcricinfo has rounded up a few views from outside the dressing room to help them on their way.

"The surprise was the lack of resilience and competitive heart, whose beating got more faint with every passing game and finally stopped once and for all on the final afternoon in Sydney. Maybe those players were not quite as good as they believed themselves to be, maybe not quite as tough, either."
Former England captain Michael Atherton in the Times

"The management group needs fewer 'yes' men telling them what they want to hear. It starts with the vice-captaincy… For me the vice-captain should be Kevin Pietersen. There are two reasons why: first, it will prolong his Test career and England still desperately need him in the middle order until the end of the 2015 Ashes… The second reason is he possesses the contrasting personality this management group is crying out for."
Former England captain Michael Vaughan in the Telegraph

"Over recent years England have employed more backroom staff, believing it makes them more professional. In fact, they have over-complicated professionalism... It is time they got into the real world and stopped wasting money on frivolous luxuries that do not make any difference when Mitchell Johnson is whistling it around your earhole. The players have stopped thinking for themselves."
Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott in the Telegraph

"It has been a spineless performance that has left me angry and deflated. I can accept watching an England team being beaten by a better side when they have gone toe-to-toe and thrown a few punches of their own, but this series has not even been contested. It has been a weak and feeble effort from a group of players who should understand what the bare minimum requirements are for a Test cricketer."
Former England allrounder Ian Botham in the Daily Mirror

"Before this last innings I thought we'd been outplayed, outclassed and out-captained, outgunned and outfought in four matches. I really thought England had done their best but that last innings will gnaw away at me … It was an absolute disgrace to not last 32 overs. That's when I'd question every player on their hunger in a tough situation and ask them 'Have you thrown the towel in?' From a management viewpoint, I've never seen a team capitulate like that."
Former England player and coach David Lloyd on Sky Sports

"We keep hearing Alastair Cook he is a good learner. He has been out-captained. He has not learnt one iota from first game to last. Go with your gut instinct and if he does not have one then go with someone else."
Former England captain Nasser Hussain on Sky Sports