Home » ARTICLES » Hodgson Needs To Get Rid Of The Old Stars After Poland Debacle

Hodgson Needs To Get Rid Of The Old Stars After Poland Debacle

published :

In a game that suggested that the pitch was sloping, which ironically might have allowed it to drain and so allow play on a day when there were England fans present, the latest showcasing of English talent was truly a game of two halves.

With Roy Hodgson, determined to put his stamp on the team, there was more than a little Manchester United déjà vu, about a side that looked exposed on its left flank and stronger on the right side, with 2 attacking midfielders in a rather loose 4-4-2 structure.

Ashley Cole played despite his off-field problems and if his tweet was aimed at a description of the England team, then few would argue with him.

Wayne Rooney, looking as slow, labored and disinterested as ever, scored a lucky goal in a bad performance that must now let that ‘world class ‘ tag fall to the ground. When was he last world class? Certainly long enough ago that I can’t remember it!

Similarly the pedestrian Michael Carrick, in from of Harry Potters ugly brother (Joleon Lescott) and Phil Jagielka – proved that pace matters and we do not have it. Add to these three the fading Steven Gerrard who now loses possession so fast and looks short of breath, Milner who has no pace or guile and Defoe who lacked any support and looked like a child running around without any idea what his job was and you see how low the England team has dropped.

Our best players, Joe Hart and Glen Johnson, were hardly outstanding. Hart goes from hero to zero in an England kit, and was badly at fault for the equalizer.

Of course we are now clear of Montenegro, riding high in a group of poor to average teams, who will win nothings and at best make up the numbers in Brazil if they qualify. This is not what we want to see from England.

Frankly, the future is not with this bunch of players.

Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jack Wishere, Ashley Young and Jack Rodwell were not in the squad due to injury problems with the Arsenal midfielder having only just returned from a the best part of a year and a half out.

The likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck, Leighton Baines, Kyle Walker and Andy Carroll combined with the aforementioned players are England’s future if given the chance to play regulary.

We also need to accept that 4-5-1 is the only formation that gives us possession and cover in defence. Playing Baines and Cole would have secured the left side, Tom Cleverley was badly used defensively out on the left, he tried but he isn’t up to it, its not his forte.

Welbeck will do a job when we are playing better teams and breaking, Carroll works against the poorer teams like Poland. In midfield we might be better with Walker and Baines wide of a midfield-three that includes two holding and one attacking midfielder. Can Rooney deliver the stamina to do this job?

I don’t know anymore and perhaps Cleverley is the answer with Rodwell and Wilshere behind him.

If we are losing then we use the Ox or Theo Walcott to give width  but to play without the ball for much of the second half against Poland is poor.

England haven’t been much good for a very long time. Apart from Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker, it has been almost 50 years since we were a strong international side. There is much talk of rebuilding and much hope from the new training facility but the reality is that it’s over for Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, James Milner, Gerrard and Carrick and its time to move on.

I just wish Hodgson would drop them for good and start again, this plan is going nowhere.

By Steve Burrows CBE @ifollowsteve