England don’t stand a chance with Roy Hodgson

In the past we have had high hope; however in recent years those dreams have disappeared and even then we struggle to get out of the group stage. From Roy Hodgson’s half hearted tactical display in the Euro’s last year to Rob Green’s mistake in South Africa… just as it was all going so well. I suppose having the most diverse top league in world football does have a downside, one that you may rightly think severely damages preparation, quality, selection and fitness of our national team.

To stop there would be criminal. It isn’t just down to the reasons I have already stated, or even that newspapers almost want England to fail in order to increase readership and publicity. Although an exception is the Daily Mail’s iconic headline of ‘A wally with a brolly’ which was pure genius.


The likes of countries such as Spain and Italy have done very well as a national side for a number of years and credit is certainly due, they have both been fantastic – a credit to their nation. My opinion is that a leading factor in their success is down to the style of play that most club teams in La Liga and Serie A choose.

Spanish sides continue to play typically with 3 central midfielders, 1 lone striker and a high defensive line which contributes to ‘tic-tac’ football which we have saw demonstrated by Wigan Athletic and Swansea City. Many of the Spain team play their football abroad but they have grown up with a clear understanding of ‘this is how we play for our country’ mentality. Let me remind you that every single current England international plays under British borders.  Surely we should be better than the Spaniards? Or at least as good? Anywhere near them would do?

The same constant trend applies to Italian clubs who are traditionally known for playing it safe, being cautious in defence and continuing to defend for their lives. In addition to this defensive craze, playing with wing backs (effectively 3/5 defenders depending on how you look at it) and a deep lying midfielder is fairly common. Having pretty much the whole country effectively playing in a certain way means opposite styles (such as Stoke) is rarely seen. Udinese are probably the only top flight team that goes completely against most of what I have just said about Italy – a team renowned for their ability to attack. Their 2 encounters with Arsenal in 2011 were perfect examples to support this claim.

Clearly the FA cannot instruct a certain way of ‘how to play’ but being able to pass the ball, execute set pieces and be a well structured side are all key parts in what the governing bodies in England want to promote and teach. By doing this the chances of having a side fit to represent the home of our beautiful game should increase.

Stuart Pearce and his Under 21’s didn’t do themselves any favours with 3 defeats and just a single goal (which was a penalty by Dawson against Norway) to show for it. At least they can keep the ball though.

Here’s to the dream? Come On England.

You can follow me on twitter where I will continue to rant at times @Sephton_wafc