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Eurok Roy Hodgson's choice

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by 11v11 Guest Blogger Brian Beard

Hands up all of you who gasped and were underwhelmed by Roy Hodgson's squad for the European Championships. The words that crossed my mind were; functional, pragmatic, unexciting. Then, for some reason, Denmark, 1992, and Greece, 2004, flashed across my mind (the latter having nothing whatsoever to do with the Euro, more the Euros eight years ago when the functional and pragmatic Greeks danced off with the trophy. Denmark were late substitutes for Yugoslavia 20 years ago and won the tournament, after plucking their players from beaches across the world. Sun beds and Ambre Solaire, as preparation, didn`t impair Schmeichel and co too much.

Am I suggesting the hurried installation of Roy Hodgson, with barely enough time to write a list of players on the back of a West Brom programme is a portent of a first European Championship success for our national team? Maybe, maybe not.

In the past, without mentioning e.g. the euphemistically burdened 'Golden Generation', we have had the right players, the right manager (or maybe not) and occasionally the right tactics but NEVER all at the same time.

In Roy Hodgson we have a manager who knows international football and tactics. He knows tournament football, a blessing considering England's inherent lack of tournamentality. So, straightaway we have two out of three. Do we have the right players, as selected by Roy? Good question and one that can only be answered by those chosen.

The chosen few need to justify their selection by putting aside petty club rivalries, in-fighting and ***k measuring contests, not to mention comparing overly inflated salaries, to remember football is a team game with a common goal. The England players are all top flight footballers and most of them know how, and when, to kick a ball properly. All are physically fit, hopefully, and most have enough living brain cells to be right most of them time when it comes to decision making. And all of that should be manageable for the half dozen games necessary to win Euro 2012.

So there it is in a nut shell. And, if come 1st July, Steven Gerrard hoists the Henri Delaney Trophy, yes that is what it`s called, the pragmatic, unexciting and functional selections of Roy Hodgson, so derided at the outset, may just be set aside to cries of 'Well done'.

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Updated 25th May 2012 at 09:45 AM by 11v11



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