Five areas Roy Hodgson must sort out after England’s disappointing 1-1 draw against Poland

October 18th, 20127:34 am @


3 England have good centre-backs but not necessarily good footballers
This was a big match for both Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka, given it was
England’s first real competitive test since John Terry’s decision to quit
international football. The pair have played together at Everton, and have
also proved effective for England
– not least when Fabio Capello used them away to Switzerland in the last
Euro qualifying campaign.

However, although both are very good central defenders, not least with
Jagielka’s speed and Lescott’s strength, neither is that good on the ball.
The opposition are often prepared to allow them possession as they know
their distribution is suspect. This meant both Steven Gerrard and Michael
Carrick dropped ever deeper to collect the ball – and England lost their

4 Milner is still the manager’s go-to man
No player has been used more often by Roy Hodgson in his 11 matches in charge.
James Milner is an archetypal Hodgson player – hard-working, disciplined and
consistent. He can be the energetic wide player – not necessarily an
out-and-out winger – that Hodgson also favours.

Milner’s versatility is a bonus as he showed when switching flanks with Tom
Cleverley. But, surely, if England are to progress they need more than just
hard work and industry.

5 This is no new England – yet
Roy Hodgson has spoken optimistically about the pace and passing ability now
at his disposal and also of the young players coming through. Little of it
was on evidence against Poland.

England passed the ball poorly and failed to attack at speed. But they do
remain resilient under Hodgson and, in a sense, this was a re-run of their
approach to the Euro 2012 finals, in which they often found themselves with
their backs to the wall but were also hard to break down.

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