England were completely demolished in one of the Ashes’ worst performances by a visiting team and now some are suggesting team culture is to blame with revelations of ‘fat shaming’ and drinking during the tour.

Coach Chris Silverwood will have a lot to think about in the coming weeks and in tandem with captain Joe Root, the pair must find a way forward.

A culture shift is needed within England’s ‘comfortable’ setup with reports revealing an internal shambles from start to finish in The Ashes.

Among the more surprising revelations is that of a player who allegedly refused to take part in a standard fitness test and accused the management of fat shaming.

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“A player refused to take part in the skinfold test – a body fat gauge – and when pressed accused England of trying to shame him. The test was never carried out” , wrote the Telegraph’s Nick Hoult.

“Fitness levels have clearly dropped for some players, who started the tour in good shape but seemed to let this team drift as the tour went on.”

Ollie Robinson, arguably England’s most reliable bowler in this series, is one of those players who has questions about his fitness.

The Tailor won 11 wickets in four games averaging 25.54, but at times suffered various injuries which hampered his Ashes tour.

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His fitness became a major talking point over the course of the series given that he was a clear threat to the Australians, but too often disappeared due to fitness issues.

On the morning of the Hobart Test he declared himself fit to play and James Anderson rested. On the first day of the second session, he was already sitting up due to a back spasm.

According to The Telegraph, Robinson didn’t make his fitness a top priority and even played golf despite the potential to aggravate an injury.

“When England were lucky enough to have a day off in Hobart, Robinson went to play golf despite being troubled by a shoulder problem which threatened his chances of playing, with Craig Overton preparing to play at his place,” Hoult wrote.

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Michael Vaughan echoed Hoult’s sentiment, suggesting a way forward for the pace bowler, saying he is “probably the most skilled bowler” to have played for England for a long time.

But Vaughan thinks Robinson performed better than the veteran duo of Broad and Anderson in their first nine Tests, but needs to do his body well.

Fitness is a key part of any fast bowling cartel and a suggested way forward would be for Robinson to step away from the game and just focus on his body.

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“At the end of the day, I think they told him that a year ago and he didn’t. You can only take a horse to the waterer. If he doesn’t listen no, drop it,” Vaughan wrote for The Telegraph.

Silverwood’s management style was also an issue, while a drinking culture was said to have raised management concerns.

Drinking is not an unusual thing on the touring side and is also a great way for the team to bond in some cases, but too much of it seriously affects preparation and fitness.

Hoult reported that an old method will almost certainly be implemented in the future in the team once Covid subsides, the midnight curfew introduced by Andrew Strauss.

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Vaughan believes cultural issues stem from players having too much power in the modern game.

The Great England Test claimed the “element of having to prove every day that you deserve to be there” is leaving the England setup and players are now “comfortable” in the national system.

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“Coaches and administrators have to try to reclaim some of the power. I’ve heard stories on that Ashes tour of England where players refused to do what management asked of them. This cannot be true,” Vaughan wrote.

“You have to tell the players in no uncertain terms: ‘This is what it takes to be an English player. It’s non-negotiable. Not the opposite.

“Players now have great opportunities with franchise leagues around the world, but the best contract of the lot is the England central contract.”

Vaughan thinks the modern game has given players too many options, which means they believe they can do whatever they want because there’s money to be made elsewhere.

This mindset needs to be stopped immediately if England are to progress in the future, with greater emphasis on the ‘power’ of management.

In terms of overly comfortable players, Vaughan thinks Ollie Pope is a prime example.

The energetic batsmen have massive wraps on him at just 24, but failed to fire in Australia in six innings, scoring a meager 67 runs at an average of 11.16.

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Pope is clearly a talented player, but struggles to get off the ball, a simple flaw in a Test batsman’s mindset and one he should be able to fix himself.

With the number of coaches surrounding the team, someone can surely help the youngster to be the best player he can be and not panic when he is in the compound.

In Surrey country cricket he is thriving, but Vaughan has suggested England should perhaps be tougher on their contracted players.

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