The FA are still very much behind Roy Hodgson, with departing Chairman David Bernstein being particularly vocal in singing the England manager's praises.
Contrast this with England legend Gary Lineker's views on Hodgson's "dark-age" tactics and this leads us here to wonder who is more accurate. We will analyse what Hodgson as a coach and leader brings to the England squad, and whether the FA are right to allow him to remain in charge for the biggest tournament in world football.
With England struggling to find a real creative spark, they need a manager who can ignite the team's passion and drive. Roy, while obviously a dedicated professional, is not exactly passion personified.
His man-management skills also leave a lot to be desired when one looks at his unnecessarily harsh treatment of the experienced and talented Rio Ferdinand.
Hodgson has been known to largely solidify teams defensively, building from the back, up, which is a tactic to be admired in club football. However, at international level it is a completely different ball game, with the best players in the world on show, meaning teams have to show something that little bit different, just as Oxlade-Chamberlain did against Brazil.
Without him, I am in no doubt that England would have lost the match, as the team were severely lacking in innovation and flair, before his superb intervention. We were very flat again, against Ireland, conceding a sloppy goal early on in the game. The players seemed to show no heart and were content to play for a draw against a side that are supposedly 32 places below them in the FIFA world rankings.
What I noticed about Hodgson's team in Euro 2012 was how bullish they appeared to be, with an almost "Never Say Die" attitude, especially in the Group stages. England were dealt a cruel blow against the Italians but the majority of fans were pleased with their nation's performance in the tournament. This was a massive achievement for Roy due to the number of injuries and low expectations beforehand.
However, should England wish to advance further in the World Cup, they must utilise what little flair they have and make the most of it. Having players like Carrick, Wilshere and Gerrard in the centre means that a player such as James Milner just isn't required. We have several fast and skilful wingers like Ox, Lennon and Walcott so it seems strange not to employ them from the start on a regular basis. This is what frustrates many about Hodgson. He appears to play his favourites, rather than what is best for the team.
Moreover, the consistent use of Roy's favoured 4-4-2 and his apparent unwillingness and inflexibility in changing this is highly disconcerting, as seen against the Italians, where Parker and Gerrard were overrun by Italy's three creative central midfielders, led by Pirlo. If we are to have any impact at all in the World Cup, we must adapt to each team we play and change the formation accordingly.
However, it should be made clear that I do not believe that Hodgson should be dismissed before the World Cup. It would lead to a massive disruption in England's preparation, something I know which the FA are not prepared to risk.
I do not feel that the England boss has the real x-factor currently and, therefore I am highly doubtful of any tangible success in 2014. For now, though, we should all get behind Roy and the team as, while he may not be the perfect manager for the job, he has served England well and I greatly hope that he proves me wrong and brings back the World Cup next summer. I will never be happier to eat my own words.
But what do you think? Is Hodgson the man to lead the three Lions to World Cup glory and beyond or should he be replaced immediately. Please leave any comments and opinions below.
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