Roy Hodgson the brave, inspirational, tactical


Apparently we all have to be in awe of the great managerial skills of Roy Hodgson after England came from behind to beat Wales in their Euro 2016 group game.

Yes the tactical genius of doing the bleeding obvious while Wales dropped deeper and deeper and offered absolutely bugger all in attack.

But then Roy picked Raheem Sterling to start.

What was that about tactical genius. Everyone, everyone knows that Sterling is gone, shot, done for, a dead parrot. He’s not pining for the fjords. Expertly highlighted not 10 minutes in when he completely buggered up a gilt edge chance set on a plate for him by Lallana.

Honestly if Roy was that bold a tactical genius he would have made the substitution right there and not waited until half-time. But then as I said if he was that type of manager Sterling wouldn’t have started the first game never mind this one.

So with Sterling doing nowt but fanny about and lose the ball, Lallana was playing as well as he did against Russia, a real threat. But it’s a system that doesn’t get the best out of Kane and while yes he looked leggy he didn’t get any type of real service.

Oh but joy of joys that tactical genius Roy took him of corner duty. Passing it to Rooney instead, the other striker on the pitch.

Rooney while being involved in general play was not as sharp and incisive as he was against Russia and it’s not like Wales really closed him down that much more than the Ruskies, who didn’t at all. So while England pretty much had all the ball they created very little and went in at the break one down.

Bale free-kick, well it’s about all he did all match, much like Wales’ first game and both times the ‘keeper could be regarded as at fault for the goals.

Said before that when Hart is under no pressure – and there’s no way Roy will even threaten to drop him – he gets, cocky, complacent, arrogant and sloppy. He went walkabout against Russia that was almost costly and well I said when Bale was lining up for the kick I didn’t like that cheesy grin on Hart’s face.

It should have been one all, really, well that chance of one all. Ben Davies push on Dele Alli in the box was a penalty all day long but waived away but more inept officiating.

So Roy actually made a bold, decisive decision to replace a player who hadn’t performed for a game and a half and one that was getting nowhere fast.

Both scored. And did very little else. Vardy did nowt more while Sturridge put a cross in that led to the equaliser.

Vardy had half the touches that Kane did, while making a whole two passes. While Sturridge did a lot of running about and getting involved but in the process gave the ball away and got in the way of others. His presence totally negated Lallana, who was subbed for Rashford, and Dele Alli.

One person that it did open up space for was Walker and by heck I didn’t half read some guff about how good he was. Again like every game he plays he stopped forward moment so many times. Just once the team and he played it right. Can’t remember who it was but they played a ball into space for him to run onto and he had to get the cross in first time which he, amazingly, did. The rest of the time he stopped, took that extra touch and then decided to run into the defender. Needless waste of good openings. Also defensively is reluctance to play the ball caused early trouble.

Don’t know which was more overblown the praise of Walker or that of Roy.

Roy’s real tactical genius was to make Wales happy to drop deep to protect a one goal lead, then drop deeper to protect a point. Oh and be lucky that the linesman notice the Welsh head that played Vardy onside. He now says he has a dilemma about team selection. No doubt Raheem will be back in.

Or maybe Gareth Bale learned that pride and passion doesn’t make up for players who are plying their trade in the lower parts of the top league and below, or maybe it doesn’t work with players born in England. As they really didn’t show that much, certainly not going forward, can you park a bus with pride and passion?

Hell if pride and passion can’t make you get the better of Smalling…

Dream scenario now, Russia victory and a point at least with Slovakia. What ever the result I’m sure the rest of the continent are quaking in their boots at the thought of playing either of these two in the next round. It’s football Jim but not as we know it…

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