Hodgson defends England against Lineker after WC qualifiers
England can boast about the most competitive and expensive league at the club level, but despite all of the luster their country enjoys with football, England has been unable to impress when it comes to the international level It is almost as if the Three Lions have been cursed on this front. A wasted ‘Golden Generation’ is proof of England’s under par achievements.
England manager Roy Hodgson confesses to all of the disappointments. The Three Lions boss claims he is working hard to raise the nation’s ratings, but a lot of effort and work needs to be directed towards this front. Hodgson, who has taken upon himself to go at war against critics, just recently expressed his disappointment over the criticism directed towards him by former England star Gary Lineker.
Lineker insists Hodgson and England’s unworthy players should be blamed for the nation’s lack lustrous achievements. Lineker released his statements after England finished the international break with a goalless draw against Ukraine. In spite of finishing on the top of the table of their World Cup qualifying group, Lineker believes England is unprepared for the challenges ahead.
Hodgson appeared to be satisfied with the result, although he admits England need to improve ball possession and creating goalscoring opportunities. Hodgson claims his side is currently working on a more direct approach which will eliminate the possibility of making mistakes.
“Did we play longer balls forward early? Yes, we did. We didn't want to play out from the back and invite pressure,” said Hodgson, who believes Lineker’s analysis of his side’s “woeful” performance is unfair. Hodgson insists that his side’s ability to finish on top of the group shows that English team is improving by the day.
“I'm surprised anyone who has played for England, captained England and played in games of this nature can be that critical,” Hodgson told the Guardian. “This is the second time. My disappointment would be that I saw Gary Lineker play, I remember him captaining the team and playing some great games for England but I'm also pretty sure he played in some games when it wasn't that easy and I don't think every game he played for England was a total success.
“I try to placate most people but I'm afraid I've just seen a group of players missing seven first-team members beat Moldova 4-0 and come to Ukraine and draw 0-0. You can criticise us or praise us or do whatever you want to do but don't think you're going to put words into my mouth or get me agreeing with these opinions.
“I've been in football for 38 years and I will stick to my opinions. You can have yours, he can have his and anyone else can have theirs for that matter. This is the beauty of football. There are 60 million opinions out there but I will be surprised if I am walking down the street in the next few weeks and people aren't actually saying: 'You did well in those two games.' I'd be surprised. But we'll see.”