Jan Molby

Questions over Hodgson’s future are insulting

Jan Molby

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There is always an overreaction after England games and we have seen that again today. I’ve read that apparently the Uruguay defeat should be a “resignation issue” for Roy Hodgson – which is complete nonsense.

There was an instinctive overreaction to the Italy defeat as everyone was too positive following a 2-1 defeat and claimed we would see a better England against Uruguay. When that didn’t materialise, things swung back the other way violently.

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Two months ago, if you’d have said England would have narrowly lost both games most people would probably have said that’s realistic. But as soon as the tournament starts, when England are in the here and now, expectations inflate of their own accord.

Roy Hodgson has the tools that he has to work with, and what should England do? Sack him? They have tried everything. They’ve tried with a disciplinarian like Fabio Capello, they’ve tried with a coach figure like Steve McClaren, but they can’t find the winning formula.

To be honest, I think it was insulting to Roy Hodgson that he was asked whether he would resign in the aftermath of the Uruguay defeat. I don’t get this insatiable desire to change coaches. Calm yourselves down. I come from a country in Denmark which has had the same coach for 14 years.

In that period they have missed championships, but he works with what the country can give him in terms of players and Roy Hodgson is in the same situation.

You can’t approach the World Cup saying you have no chance and then, when it looks like you are going to be eliminated after being beaten by two very good teams, let it become a massive issue. What were England really expecting? It happens – sometimes you lose tight games, especially at that level.

There is a thin line between success and failure. Had England taken a point then there would have been no problem and there would have been all to play for. They have played two of the teams in the top 10 of FIFA’s rankings and lost to them by a single goal each. Maybe they deserved to draw one of them.

You can criticise England’s defending all you like for Thursday night, and god knows people are, but ultimately the difference was a world class player like Luis Suarez.

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It is an incredibly tough group. I have to be honest though and say I didn’t expect England to lose both of the matches. They don’t lose too many games. They might be defeated on penalty shoot-outs but they don’t actually lose all that many games at major tournaments, but this has been the toughest group they have been involved in for a long, long time

People were calling for Hodgson to unleash these talented young players on the world and sometimes it’s not as simple as that. Sterling played well in the first half but then Uruguay’s international footballers too care of him. They closed him down and they tactically adjusted to play against him. That’s what makes international football so difficult.

- Jan Molby

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