The psychology of Roy


Much has been made of Roy Hodgson taking noted sports psychologist Dr Steve Peters with the team to Brazil but maybe it’s the manager he needs a look at not the players.

Peters needs to sit down with Roy and ask him if he wants to go down as another boring failure of an England manager. The problem is that Roy would be quite happy with that. Roy’s not here to entertain us.

Over the last few days Roy has been playing his own psychological mind games with the players. But this has just expertly shown what Roy’s major malfunction is, as he bigged up the failures and denigrated the successes.

It started with the lavish praise heaped on Glen Johnson after his inept performance against Peru, which was followed up over the last couple of days with shooting down Ross Barkley at every opportunity after his stand out game against Ecuador.

While slagging off Barkley he made the case for others who he thinks should have shared the praise that the Everton youngster got…

But I think it’s a bit unfair on Oxlade-Chamberlain, who really did have an outstanding 60 minutes, and harsh on the two centre-backs, Jones in particular, who in his first game back did ever so well for us, and I think it’s harsh on Wilshere and Lampard too. Roy Hodgson

Yes it’s slightly unfair on Chamberlain, who had a good game before his injure saw him go off and will now mean he’ll at least miss the first couple of games if not the whole tournament, which is a major blow.

But the others Roy said it was harsh on, Wilshere, Lampard, Jones and Smalling, what by any stretch of the imagination did they do that deserved any praise what so ever? What praise given to Barkley, who along with Chamberlain enlivened proceedings, should have been taken from them and given to four players that dulled proceedings.

The two centre-backs were nowhere for either of the Ecuadorian goals, Jones apparently deserves praise because he didn’t Bryan Robson it and re-knacker his shoulder. Wilshere probably gave the ball away more than Barkley while doing nothing productive with it and Lampard was just a bystander, there on false pretences.

Yes I know Roy wants to keep people’s feet on the ground and deflect all the attention being on a young player at his first tournament – and remember Italia 90 was Gazza’s only World Cup – but what psychological effect does it have on a player being slagged off by the manager?

But it goes beyond that. Because Roy in his own words thinks England can win this World Cup – Why go to Brazil unless we think we can win it? The thing is he thinks England can bore their way to lifting the trophy.

In that sit down Dr. Peters should explain to Roy that England are not going to win it, they’re not going to win it playing the kids but they are certainly not going to win it with the XI that Roy has inked in – not even pencilled – as his team.

Pick Barkley – and if he had been fit Chamberlain – and Sterling have some fun, excite the viewing public back home, give those that have forked over a fortune to go to Brazil something to be happy about, entertain us into the knock-out stages and go out in a blaze of glory, giving those young players that invaluable tournament experience.

Or pick Gerrard, Henderson, Rooney and pass the ball sideways for 90 minutes and look at the goalless draw with Costa Rica as the highlight as you do a Scotland and come home before the postcards.

Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.

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