England get underway with a point
Mr Hodgson could wake up this morning pretty pleased with his night’s work yesterday, as England got through the toughest of their group games relatively unscathed and secured a respectable point.
June 12th, 2012
In truth, England did what most people expected them to do, which was not that much. Roy Hodgson’s team did what Roy Hodgson teams do, which was not that much. They didn’t do much wrong, they didn’t do anything really spectacular and they got a point for their trouble. Job done.
There were bright spots, such as the performance of Danny Welbeck, how Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coped with the pressure of tournament football and the fact that England didn’t look massively troubled by a team that was technically much better than them. There were, naturally, also some things to focus on – namely finding a new right back and working out how four players couldn’t prevent Franck Ribéry from switching flanks very, very easily.
That, amongst other things, is something that Roy thinks he can sort out, ahead of the next game against Sweden.
“This gives us a good platform,” Hodgson said, “Hopefully we’ll get fitter. The more we train and get matches under our belts the fitter we’ll become.
“I’ve got to be very proud of that performance. Maybe that final ball needs to improve and we were maybe a bit anxious in the final third.
“But there were good signs of a team wanting to do well.”
Of course, it didn’t stop some moaning from the French team, with Patrice Evra claiming that England “played like Chelsea” – you know, the Chelsea that won the Champions League?
“I think we played much better than England, but in the end it was a draw and we are a bit frustrated,” said the French left-back.
“They played in the way that Chelsea played against Barcelona.
“At times it was like there were 15 bodies on the pitch,” continued the 31-year-old.
“People laugh and maybe they want England to play more football, but if they win the tournament playing like that, they will be happy.”