Roy Hodgson was too nice to be an effective England manager

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Humiliating. Humbling. Embarrassing. 

These were the words thrown around when England were dumped out of the Euros by minnows Iceland with a 2-1 defeat.

Against an average side, Roy Hodgson's men were expected to make quick work of seeing off one of the smallest nations in world football. And it looked like all was going to plan when Wayne Rooney struck a penalty home in the 4th minute. 


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England uninspiring 

However, Iceland were able to expose England's defensive frailties. They sat back and absorbed England's uninspiring attacks, and as a result of such a poor performance, Hodgson resigned as manager. 

Iceland's second goal was deemed to be a shot that goalkeeper Joe Hart should have saved, but that was not the first time that had happened in the competition. Yet, Hodgson chose to continue fielding the Manchester City stopper, and that was part of the reason England ultimately failed. 

Perhaps Hodgson was too nice to handle the pressure of the England job. On the sidelines, when his side fell behind, there wasn't enough passion or leadership from him. 

Some would argue Sir Alex Ferguson's infamous 'hairdryer' motivation technique was not the best approach. But given that England's players continued their lacklustre performance after the break, whatever Hodgson said in the dressing room didn't seem to have worked. 

Tough love needed 

Changes to the team were needed. It was clear from the first game of the tournament that Harry Kane needed to be dropped. He lacked movement and mainly took hopeful pot-shots from outside the box.

A timid Hodgson persisted in picking Kane - even to take set pieces - instead of Jamie Vardy. 

Kane was not the only player who should have been kept on the bench. Hodgson wanted to field Raheem Sterling after the player received great criticism. The Mirror have quoted Gary Lineker as calling the criticism "nasty", but even with high-profile figures defending him, Sterling was clearly struggling. 

Reinstalling him against Iceland was meant to build the confidence of the player, but the will to win should have triumphed over keeping players happy. 

Too much pressure 

In Hodgson's defence, not many players could have filled Sterling's place, but one player who could have would have been Marcus Rashford. The manager would have been considered very bold to rely on an 18-year-old, but Rashford proved his quality and as the saying goes, if they're good enough, they're old enough. 

England lacked the players in wide positions because Hodgson originally planned to play 4-4-2 with a diamond in midfield. Yet, after a poor performance in friendlies with this shape, the manager bowed to pressure and switched to a 4-3-3.

This proved the England boss didn't know his system well enough, whereas had he been more considered in his planning and tactics, he could have found a formation that incorporated England's best players. 

Unfortunately, many will remember Hodgson's reigin with disappointment. Looking to the future, fans will be hoping for a manager with a sterner hand, who is willing to make unpopular decisions to make the team work. 

Was Roy Hodgson a suitable England manager? Have your say in the comments. 

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Wayne Rooney
England Football
Euro 2016

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