Football

Roy Hodgson must take blame for England humiliation

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Let's start with the point that everyone, this writer included, accepts as true. England shouldn't sack Roy Hodgson. Despite guiding the Three Lions to their worse World Cup performance since 1958, Hodgson's job is safe and rightly so.

A big reason why Hodgson's job is safe though is that there simply aren't any feasible candidates to replace him. After the sagas of Fabio Capello and Sven Goran Eriksson the FA have effectively decided that a foreign manager isn't good to be England manager for the foreseeable future.

If only an Englishman is allow to manager the national side then there is nobody left but the the 66-year-old Hodgson. Steve McClaren's disastrous 2006-2007 means he will never again get the national job.

Harry Redknapp knows about as much about tactics as his dog. Gareth Southgate's only club job was relegating Middlesbrough. The last remotely plausible candidate is current England coach Gary Neville who is about 10 years of managerial work away from being even remotely qualified.

Hodgson then is the man in the hot-seat for the foreseeable future and he needs to learn from the mistakes he made because, going into the World Cup he got every key decision wrong.

Let's start with the selection of the squad. Leaving the hugely experienced highly reliable Ashley Cole behind was a massive error of judgement.

England lost their first match 2-1 to Italy. In the opening game 38% of Italy's attacks came down the Leighton Baines side of the pitch compared to 27% that came down Glen Johnson's side of the pitch.

These attacks down England's left directly led to Italy's goals. The Italian right back Matteo Darmian got behind Baines to win the corner that led to the first goal. The second goal also came from the Italy's exploiting England's weak left side when Balotelli headed in Candreva's pinpoint cross.

Had Ashley Cole being England's left back in Manuas you can't imagine he would have been so badly exposed. Firstly, he is a much better defender than Baines. Secondly, there is no way Cole would have accepted Rooney leaving him so exposed. He would have got in Rooney's face and dragged him back into position.

Which brings us to the decision to play Rooney out on the left. Despite the kicking the press has inflicted on Rooney there is no doubt that he has been England's best player of this tournament. Throughout the two games he was the player most likely to deliver a goal. He scored once, had one assist and came close to scoring on at least three other occasions. Had Hodgson played Rooney in his preferred position against Italy as well as Uruguay it's likely England would have got at least one point against the Azzuri and still be in the World Cup.

Hodgson's biggest tactical mistake however was the way he set his team up defensively. For all Hodgson's talk about no putting down any of his weapons there is no doubt that this is what he did defensively. A high pressing game against Italy in Manuas might have been out of the question but against Uruguay it was not only possible by required.

Uruguay put everything on the line pressing England high up the pitch. England meanwhile dropped deep when they didn't have the ball refusing to press and chase the opposition.

Hodgson seemed to be determined to save legs for later in the tournament. As it is England are out of the competition without ever putting it all out on the pitch.

After the Uruguay defeat Hodgson placed the blame on the players who he said hadn't delivered. This might be true but why they didn't deliver has to be asked. England are out in the group stages of the World Cup for the first time in 56 years. The players were executing his tactics and his tactics were proven to wrong on almost every count.

Hodgson must criticise not only his players but himself.


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Topics:
Football
England Football
World Cup

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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