Roy Hodgson gets game management wrong against Russia

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In their first game of Euro 16, England drew 1-1 with Russia, amazingly. Amazing in the sense that England created chance after chance, but could only manage to put one away.

Raheem Sterling had at least two clear chances, Adam Lallana the same. Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney both had excellent chances too, but despite this, the goal came from a set-piece, which Eric Dier fired home from just outside the box.

It looked like the game would be a complete success for England until right at the death. A hopeful cross allowed Vasili Berezutski to loop his header over Joe Hart into the far corner to give Russia a late point.


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Questions have been raised whether it was Denis Glushakov who knocked the ball over the line, but regardless, that would only effect who gets credit for the goal, and wouldn't disguise the exploitation of England's defensive frailties late in the game.

Roy Hodgson will be disappointed by how his team has started the competition, but it is not all doom and gloom for the Lions, they still have a good chance of finishing top of their group, and can reflect on a generally good performance.

However, the goal was a poor one to let in, and Hodgson will have to dissect why his side have conceded in such a fashion.

One thing Hodgson could have done to protect his team is left captain Wayne Rooney on the pitch.

The only reason we can assume Hodgson brought Rooney off is that he thought he was tiring, but the England captain looked fairly energetic, still making forward runs, but also managing his defensive duties. Perhaps he lost the ball a couple of times, but in those circumstances, the team were not offering him many options.

Once England was put under the cosh by Russia, there was no sense of cohesion in the squad. Some players were lumping it up the pitch and guarding the box, while others tried to put passes together. Rooney, as captain, would have been able to coordinate a more successful and together approach, with his experience being a key factor.

Another way the manager was at fault, was not realising the Russian game plan and countering it towards the end.

The Russians fielded 6ft 4" Artem Dyzuba and made it clear throughout the game that their plan was to hit the big man. This plan became even more apparent when they started throwing their big centre-backs forward. 

Crosses were clearly going to be raining on the England box, and what was Hodgson's solution? Bringing on 5ft 9" Milner and 5ft 8" Jack Wilshere.

It showed that Hodgson thought his team was so superior that they would keep the ball and not let Russia get the chance to play their way. This was clearly wrong.

The solution to the problem of how to deal with the Russian height was obvious - John Stones.

When looking to see out a game, most managers would bring on a centre-back, and that is what Hodgson should have done. 

Stones would have added more defensive ruggedness to the side, and importantly, more height, at 6ft 2". Also by bringing on Stones, it wouldn't be losing the ability to play the ball around as he is known for his remarkable passing ability at centre-back, and he could have been the player to make the difference.

England fans were excited by the prospect of a team filled with energy and potential, but in this case, it was their downfall. Hopefully, Hodgson and the team can learn from their mistakes because losing more sloppy points will end in a disappointing Euros campaign.

Did Roy Hodgson make mistakes during England's 1-1 draw with Russia? Let us know YOUR thoughts in the comment section below!

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Wayne Rooney
Jack Wilshere
Euro 2016
England Football
Premier League
James Milner

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