Well, I was wrong about Spain v Italy being a tough call, the Italians absolutely dominated the match, playing with a zeal and composure that was totally absent from Del Bosque’s Spain side, and of course, ahem, Hodgson’s England.
What a night that was in Nice! Roy Hodgson got so many things wrong. I don’t think you can blame the players. They need guidance. They have the mentality of children, they are not grown men living in the real world. They are cosseted, delusional and arrogant millionaires.
Having said that, it is not the severely unfit Jack Wilshere’s fault that he was selected for the squad, having played 3 games for Arsenal last season, and it’s not the woefully out of form Raheem Sterling’s fault that he was picked to face Iceland.
To be honest, it’s not even Roy Hodgson’s fault that he was hired by the backward, insular and mediocre FA. He was not the right man for this gig four years ago, he went on to lose every match at the 2014 World Cup, and kept his job. Out at the group stage of a World Cup, just so depressing, and this tournament has been even worse. He was sacked by Liverpool in January 2011 after just 5 months in charge, because the Anfield crowd would not tolerate the direness of his football.
Harry Redknapp was the right man for this job in 2012, after guiding Spurs to the Champions League with fast, attacking football, and everybody knew it! Just like Brian Clough was the right man in the 1970’s; he only went and won two European Cups with Nottingham Forest for Christ’s sake!
There was a chance in this European Championship, because I don’t believe the players are rubbish. Not at all. The top goalscorers in the Premier league this season were both Englishman, but Kane and Vardy were largely ineffectual here because Hodgson was unsure of how to use them.
He wasn’t sure about anything really. Harry Kane taking the bloody corners? It’s so daft. There’s so many moments of complete ineptitude for Hodgson to be remembered by. Where was Lallana? And why did Rashford only get 5 minutes?…..etc etc
Also, he decided to switch to a system that required quick wingers after abandoning the more narrow diamond shape a week before the opening match. But then he didn’t actually select any wingers in the squad; Andros Townsend was left at home, and Marc Albrighton, who had won the League with Leicester playing on the left flank, was also overlooked.
The lack of Leicester players really perplexes me; their Captain, Wes Morgan, could have been our rock at the back, Danny Drinkwater should have started in midfield, and even Danny Simpson at right-back. Why not play to the strengths of these players and build the team around a title winning side, with Jamie Vardy up front and Albrighton on the wing.
It seems very arrogant to me, from Hodgson, to look at the English Champions and think ‘No, I’m going to do it my way’, even though managers have such little time to prepare and mould a team at International level, it makes sense to base it on a successful club team, if you’re lucky enough to have one, which we do!!!!
Antonio Conte is basing the Italy team on his own Juventus side he managed before taking up the Azzurri reigns. Look how that’s working out for him.