Dave Gardner

England are as good as Germany? You must be joking

Created on Aug. 12, 2014 1:06 PM EST

I’m sorry to say this about a patently decent guy, but Roy Hodgson really has to go while there’s still time to save England from his delusional fantasies.
We forgave him after England’s poor showing in the 2012 European Championships, even though we already knew he wasn’t good enough to manage Liverpool.
We even went along with his reverse psychobabble before the World Cup when he warned the nation’s desperately supportive soccer fans not to expect too much.
Secretly we thought that this time, maybe, he and England would surprise us.
We all know how that worked out – with Hodgson trying to claim that a 0-0 draw with Costa Rica in a match that didn’t matter was a tremendous result.
Still, we went along with the FA. The call for his head was nothing like the cacophony of insults and abuse that past managers like Steve McLaren and Graham Taylor faced.
He was a nice guy, we were told. The players just weren’t good enough. Roy was right. We shouldn’t have expected too much.
That idea never really flew here. Coaches in the US inspire their teams. They motivate them. They expect to win even when it’s virtually impossible.
If they don’t win, they’re out the door as fast as you can say Mike D’Antoni and Mike Brown (the LA Lakers last 2 losing managers, for those who only watch foot sports).
What we didn’t realize was that Roy’s exorbitant salary clearly didn’t stretch to a pair of good glasses.
How else could you explain his comments to Sky TV that there was very little to separate England and Germany?
For a start, Germany ended up champions in Brazil and England was just about dead last.
Here’s what he said. I’m not making this up, I promise.
“I don't believe in the nonsense spoken about the identity of certain countries and how they play. I don't see the vast amount of difference between how we try and the way Germany try to play.
“Now there is a major difference between the 11 players in the German shirt and the 11 players in the England shirt. But if we are talking about how they attack and build up their attacks, or how they keep possession and seek for openings when they have got the ball, I don't see a vast amount of difference in philosophy or style. 
“And the same defensively. I don't see what they are trying to do to keep compact to put pressure on the ball, to try and keep the team united close together, to block crosses. I don't see the great difference in philosophy there either.”
Yes Roy, there are 11 players on each side and both teams generally try and get the ball in defense and attack so they can put the ball in the net.
It’s a game of two halves, as the old cliché goes.
According to the England boss, his team was just a little unlucky.
“If ever you want to know about the small margins in football and the fact that it is anything other than an exact science, that random things that happen in the game makes all the difference, I could give you six or seven examples from the World Cup that made winners into losers and vice-versa.”
Bless his heart, he is a nice guy and he really wants to do a good job for everybody. In his eyes, he already is.
But he isn’t up to the top jobs. We knew that right from the start. He needs to go back to the last club where he was successful – Fulham.
They’re in the second tier of English football, by the way. 
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