The Rio Report

England boss Hodgson makes embarrassing Gary Cahill gaffe

The Rio Report

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England are now looking to the future, and the usual platitudes of 'taking the positives', 'moving forwards' and 'trusting in fresh talent' have been predictably rolled out in the wake of their humiliating one-point exit.

Manager Roy Hodgson is adamant that the young players who appeared in Brazil will continue to develop and progress ahead of Euro 2016 in France, and he has been talking up their prospects.

Given that Cesare Prandelli has offered his resignation as Italy coach following a superior showing to England, many believe that Hodgson is very fortunate to remain in the job with the backing of the FA.

But could it be a blind faith given that the coach is not quite sure about the details of the players he claims to be building his team around?

England fans will have found the following quotes alarming as Hodgson committed a rather troubling and embarrassing gaffe.

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Asked about the role of his key players going forward, Hodgson made the following statements. See if you can spot the rather fundamental error...

"They'll play a major part. Today we've played with nine players who had never played in the World Cup (before this tournament)," Hodgson told Talksport.

"We've just played Costa Rica, who have won the group, and I thought we dominated the game. Certainly there are a lot of very good young players coming through.

"Let's see how the young players develop over the next two years. As disappointed as I am, I do know that today has given me a lot of positives.

"If these young boys can perform like that at 18, 19 and 20, then in two years they could be even better," he added.

"The back-four did well. With the oldest of them, Gary Cahill at 24, we restricted them to one shot early on."

Did you see the mistake? Was it a slip of the tongue or a genuine blind spot, which is more troubling?

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Cahill, one of only two players to keep his place for the final match against Costa Rica and on whom Hodgson intends to build his 'young' defence, is actually not 24 at all.

"With the oldest of them, Gary Cahill at 24", Hodgson said. Except that Cahill is actually 28.

Quite what development and evolution the England boss hopes to see from an experienced defender who has been around the Premier League for many years is anyone's guess.

Cahill is far from the young defender that Hodgson hopes to build his back four around, and getting his age so badly wrong by four years is very concerning.

Mistakes can be made, of course, but it throws Hodgson's judgement under further scrutiny following a campaign that was both disappointing and underwhelming.

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