Roy Hodgson | The Tactical Dinosaur

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Post by Guest Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:52 pm

http://false9nine.blogspot.ca/2012/06/roy-hodgson-tactical-dinosaur-finally.html

England were deservedly knocked out of Euro2012 yesterday and I don’t think anyone can have any complaints about it. The better team won, and I am sure German fans will be extremely gutted that they’ll have to face their boogey team (Italy) instead of a rigid England team that they would have easily torn apart. I’d like to assess Roy Hodgson, England’s manager, in this article judging by his 36 years of experience in management and his first 6 games as England boss.
Roy Hodgson is an old school manager. He started management 36 years ago in Sweden and during this period he’s been the manager of 20 different teams (be it club football or international teams). That shows us from the off that he’s never an ideal manager for a team that has long-term plans. Roy has a certain footballing philosophy. Like many of his English counterparts, He is a big fan of a static 4-4-2 in which one of the strikers plays slightly deeper than the main Centre Forward. No matter which club he’s managed, he’s stuck to his philosophy and I can verify that using his own words when he was Liverpool’s manager. Roy was quoted saying: "What do yo mean do my methods translate? They have translated from Halmstads to Malmo to Orebo to Neuchatel Xamas to the Swiss national team, so I find the question insulting. To suggest that, because I have moved from one club to another, that the methods which have stood me in good stead for 35 years and made me one of the most respected coaches in Europe don't suddenly work is very hard to believe."
As a result, it was no surprise to me when I saw England play 4-4-2 in Ukraine (though it was more of a 4-4-1-1 against France). “Maintaining shape” is one of Roy’s fetishes when it comes to football. He’s obsessed with defensive side of the game. In majority of the clubs he’s managed, he’s set his team not to lose as opposed to go for the win. That’s his mentality, and of course it was not going to change. He is very keen on playing two banks of 4 where the central midfielders sit deep, and the wingers have a lot of defensive duties. In these situations, forwards are often isolated, and that’s where Hodgson talks about having a focal point in attack, as demonstrated in this video:
Hodgson on 4-4-2
Hodgson has always excelled in clubs where expectations are quite low. For example, at a club like West Bromwich Albion surviving the drop is considered an achievement. Most WBA fans absolutely love Roy as they believe he finally rid the club of its “Yoyo” tag in his 1.5 years in charge and made them a solid mid-table team. Hodgson’s short stint at Liverpool, both on the pitch and off the pitch, shows his shortcomings as a manager. Roy publicly claimed that it’s very difficult to win games away from home in premiership, you might get a win or 2, but it’s level of performance that counts. Lack of ambition is what separates Hodgson from top managers. He’s happy not to lose games. Yesterday, after England’s exit from the Euros, he was very proud that his team was never beaten in the 4 games they played. He was quick to bring on penalties and how you can’t replicate the tension, nervousness and occasion in practice, but forgot to reflect on his team’s pathetic performance.
Now let’s focus on England’s Roy Hodgson. Less than 2 months ago, Roy took charge of England. It was a dream come true for Roy. Many football fans in England were happy with this appointment for reasons I wouldn’t want to discuss (the whole England national team should have an English manager, better man management, arm around shoulder, speak the language fluently, etc), but I exactly knew what to expect. Let’s have a look at some very interesting statistics I’ve come across about Roy’s stint as England’s manager.

Roy Hodgson | The Tactical Dinosaur  Capture

In Roy’s 6 games in charge, only once England have managed to have more possession and shots than their opponent. It’s a telling stat, but one that did not surprise me. Hodgson believes possession stats are pointless. He fails to comprehend that controlling the ball and tempo of the game gives you a greater chance of victory. Yesterday, he was quoted saying: "I don't regard statistics, especially possession statistics, as being particularly important. I don't think statistics alone prove a great deal to me." I'd like to tell Roy there was a reason that English players ran out of gas and stamina during extra time yesterday. There was a reason that only 15 passes were exchanged by English players during the second half of extra time yesterday. There was a reason Joe Hart completed more passes than all England's outfield players in 120 minutes yesterday. Chasing shadows all game tires players. Steven Gerrard was pretty much non-existent after he got cramp around 70th minute. Scott Parker's aimless running forced Hogson to sacrifice a substitution and take him off. Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll were incapable of completing the simplest of passes during extra time. Players were knackered, because they were chasing shadows for the best part of 120 minutes.

Playing a rigid 4-4-2 against Italy was an absolute suicide. To allow so much time and space on the ball to one of the best central midfielders of our generation was a sacking offense. Italy set up in a way to get the best of their star midfielder (Andrea Pirlo), whereas England made their star midfielder (Steven Gerrard) sit so deep, that at times you'd wonder if he was playing as an extra centre back. Hodgson saw it all game, but did nothing to fix it. Brendan Rodgers has an interesting quote in which he says: "If you give a player time, he can hurt you. If you give a good player time, he can kill you." Yesterday, Pirlo killed England.
Hodgson substitutions were very predictable. Prandelli probably knew them before the ball was kicked. There was no pressing at all. Hodgson will dismiss this though. He is a PR master at lowering expectations and no doubt he'll highlight Rooney's miss in 93rd minute and point to the fact that his game plan almost worked, forgetting that if Italy had their finishing boots on, England would have been absolutely slaughtered.
In any case, finishing top in group D and being unbeaten in normal time is a success in Roy's eyes. I'm curious to see how he approached World Cup qualifiers where England need to be attacking more. Another point I wanted to address here is the discussion of grassroots and how FA want to address it by making pitches smaller and discouraging the "hoof it out" instructions that young keepers and defenders in England are quite used to. How can you encourage technical ability and possession football in grassroots level and have Stuart Pearce and Roy Hodgson as head of national teams. It's like allowing someone like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be the president of Israel. It simply boggles the mind. Jack Wilshere has all the potential to be England's Pirlo for years to come, but can you imagine what will be going through his mind when Roy asks him as a static- in cage- central midfielder in a rigid 4-4-2?! It's the complete opposite of what he'll be expected to do at club level under an elite manager like Arsene Wenger. There are quite a few English youngsters with great technical ability coming through, but I fear for their future if they are to coached by likes of Pearce and Hodgson in international level.
In the end, England got exactly what they deserved from yesterday's game. English media will probably see it as an achievement and totally forget that only Ireland, Ukraine, and Greece had less shots on target (in average) than England in the entire tournament. They'll forget that England got outplayed in nearly every single game they played. They'll forget what a difference Having Michael Carrick instead of Scott Parker would have made. They'll forget that Joe Hart has had to make more saves than any other keeper in the tournament. They'll be delighted with what they achieved, and Roy will march on as England's manager on their road to Brazil. I'd like to finish this article with a .gif that shows the gulf of class between England and Italy yesterday. England have a long way to go, and with Roy Hodgson at helm, they won't stand a chance.



Roy Hodgson | The Tactical Dinosaur  IxSNKeWYY7zCQ

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Post by urbaNRoots Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:11 pm

If you're criticizing someone you should point out what he should've done instead. (pointing to the author)

He couldn't have done better than this. Not pretty but effective enough with what he had.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:24 pm

While i agree with what your saying Sepi and its a great read i think you are being quite harsh towards Hodgson.

Who IMO has done a great job so far with the time he has had, yes the football might be shit but we simply dont have the players or atleast we didnt at this tournament.

Not even Guardiola could have got this team playing decent football.
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Post by Onyx Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:26 pm

Guardiola would of probably made sure we pressed, kept possession instead of hoofing and played with more than 2 central mids. Smile

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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:28 pm

Pressing as a team effectively takes time though MT and we dont have the technical ability to play like a Barcelona.

Roy while tactically limited was spot on how we approached this Euros, it was impossible for us to play any other way.
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Post by Jay29 Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:32 pm

It is it just me who thought that we rarely hoofed it during the Euro's? I thought we played with the ball on the ground the majority of the time, as ineffective as it often was, and the only time we began hoofing was when Carroll was on the field.

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Post by Swanhends Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:37 pm

much criticism laid down, zero solutions offered hmm

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Post by Zealous Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:40 pm

Judging Roy on how he did with England when's he's only been in charge for 6 games is beyond silly. Also Hodgson has been successful in enough clubs to be considered a decent manager. Not elite by any means but he's not the horror show being portrayed in the article either.

Liverpool fans having it in for Hodgson is unfair so he didn't succeed with Liverpool, who has in the last 20 odd years? That hasn't stopped Roy from acheiving something at other clubs he's been and while he has had his failures he has a wealth of experience because of it.

Coming to the tactical side, there is nothing wrong with a basic 4-4-2 when done right. Ferguson has been picking up league titles left and right thanks to the 4-4-2, as a system it works just fine. However players are more important than the formation and it was widely accepted that this England squad just wasn't there in terms of quality (although there were some quality players on it) so what changed exactly?

In six games Hodgson turned England from a team in shambles to a team with something to build on. England know what to do without the ball and it's a decent system, now they need to know what to do with the ball and they were never going to do that before this tournament started. Whether Hodgson is capable of creating a solid plan of attack besides long balls in a 4-4-2 is a different debate but there's nothing to suggest that it's impossible.

Also I wouldn't look to closly into any post game statements from last night. He came out in defence of his players, I'm sure what he'll tell them in the dressing room will be different.

Anyway if Hodgson is not the right man for the job? Who pray tell is? You can't get a possession minded coach and play like Spain with the typical English player, that will take at least a decade. Any potential tactic is restricted by the type of players you have and Roy's tactics were not really wrong at all at least not for me anyway.
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:41 pm

Sepi you're being so critical that it almost comes off as a knee-jerk, but other than that great job man.

I didn't know the FA was trying to change the size of its pitches for development. This makes sense to me. In Argentina a lot of players come through what is called "baby football", which is football for very young ages played five-a-side to develop technical skills. So it seems like a smart move in my opinion. Some clubs exist that solely train kids (say, from ages 5-11) and then move them on to other clubs that play more traditionally.
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Post by Zealous Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:43 pm

GoonerJay29 wrote:It is it just me who thought that we rarely hoofed it during the Euro's? I thought we played with the ball on the ground the majority of the time, as ineffective as it often was, and the only time we began hoofing was when Carroll was on the field.

Not just you, England didn't really use the long ball. Ironically I think they didn't use it enough because they were struggling to find an easy out ball. Better positioning from strikers could have changed that.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:45 pm

BhritanniaBhlue wrote:much criticism laid down, zero solutions offered hmm


Probably because the solution is much much deeper than the english national team.
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Post by messixaviesta Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:05 pm

Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:
Not even Guardiola could have got this team playing decent football.

Comment of the day !!!


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Post by Guest Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:53 am

GoonerJay29 wrote:It is it just me who thought that we rarely hoofed it during the Euro's? I thought we played with the ball on the ground the majority of the time, as ineffective as it often was, and the only time we began hoofing was when Carroll was on the field.

Zealous stole those words from my mouth. You barely got out of your half, and all Carroll's headers went to Italians as there was only Rooney close to him. It was painful viewing.

@Bhends, I left out the solutions on purpose, so people could discuss them on their own :coffee:

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Post by Swanhends Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:54 am

Schweini wrote:
GoonerJay29 wrote:It is it just me who thought that we rarely hoofed it during the Euro's? I thought we played with the ball on the ground the majority of the time, as ineffective as it often was, and the only time we began hoofing was when Carroll was on the field.

Zealous stole those words from my mouth. You barely got out of your half, and all Carroll's headers went to Italians as there was only Rooney close to him. It was painful viewing.

@Bhends, I left out the solutions on purpose, so people could discuss them on their own :coffee:

Or because there were no viable solutions hmm

442 was the only realistic option for Hodgson at this tournament :coffee:
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Post by Lex Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:00 am

Tactical tyrannosaurus :bow:
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Post by Guest Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:05 am

Rafa partially agrees with me :coffee:

That was a very good experience for the young English players, however disheartened they may have been as they came home yesterday. Going into extra time and penalties in a tournament quarter-final like that will serve them well. But the Italians had more quality – we can't ignore that – and though the Football Association is trying to change things, we cannot disguise that it is still a long way off creating a system which enables England's players to compete with the very best in Europe, or the world.

I think Italy had an incentive to prove on Sunday night that their football is good, because they are no longer on top in the Champions League competitions now, and they really did demonstrate the technical distance between the two nations. There are many changes required in the way this country develops its young players. To make them more competitive, England above all need the clubs to decide on the style of football they want to play, from academy right through to first team. They must then coach the coaches in that style and then coach the players.

For me, there is a very big weakness in the system when the players reach 18. At that age, a player in England who is not quite at the required level to play in the Premier League has to go off on loan to a League One or Two team, where it is very difficult for him to develop the basic skills in the way he would at his club. The style and standard of coaching will probably just not be the same.

Those players who are of a slightly better standard but still not quite good enough to play in the Premier League will end up sitting on the first-team bench, and could be stuck there for years. Take Scott Carson, for example. He was the best player at Leeds United and then joined us at Liverpool, but he hardly played a game for three years.

When I arrived at Liverpool, this problem struck me and I said that our reserve team should play in the Football League pyramid. I wanted to use the experience of my years as a player and manager of the Real Madrid reserve team, which played in the Spanish second division. Joining the pyramid was important, but nobody wanted to hear or listen and I was told that I was going against an English tradition by suggesting this. I think people can see the problem a little clearer now.

If we assume the English reserve teams will not be allowed to compete in the pyramid, the only way to create matches for these young players is by making the Reserve League a proper Under-21 national competition, which allows teams to select a limited number of first-team players to help them recover from injury or keep match-fit. I know the Premier League is working on this for next season. It must be a competitive Under-21 league in spirit.

But it is the introduction of the same style of play throughout a club – and seriously investing in the coaching system to make that happen – which underpins the creation of more technically equipped players, and it was in the final year at Liverpool that we linked the academy and club more closely to make that possible.

There are plenty of myths about this idea of one style of football running throughout the club. For example, just because Barcelona have become such a successful club, everybody now talks about wanting to play "like Barcelona". But we were talking about having a consistent style throughout the club at Real Madrid over 15 years ago. How can you play "the Barcelona way" if you don't have Xavi, Iniesta and Messi?

It is more realistic to decide on a system; deciding, for instance, that you want to play the ball on the floor, not in the air, and then you need to create a philosophy at your club where everyone has the same one. You stick to it, no matter who is manager, and you appoint a manager with that vision. (If it's a non-football person who decides on the vision, it could be a problem.)

At Liverpool, we created this link between the academy and the first team by appointing Pep Segura, who had been at Barcelona, as the academy's technical director, with Rodolfo Borrell as Under-18s coach. We agreed which systems we would use and which style. In England, the individuals who are asked to coach the coaches and help spread the playing philosophy are very, very important. You can't just work with computers and databases of young footballers.

I have also been advocating for several years that clubs should be allowed to recruit young players from anywhere and that change, now allowed for in the Premier League EPPP document, cannot come soon enough. At Real Madrid, we trialled hundreds of boys a year from Madrid and all over Spain. If the best cannot work with the best, they will not progress.

I don't think England should be too worried about the number of overseas players in the Premier League. The country's young footballers can learn from those players, their different styles and ideas. And I don't think that the 4-4-2 system which Roy Hodgson used at the European Championship will prevent technically talented players being put to best use for the national side. The 4-4-2 style can become 4-2-3-1 when a team attacks. It's the football philosophy that counts, not the system.

It is a question of what you want to do when you are in possession and what you want to do when you are not in possession. It is about people having more ambition, more confidence in their game to try things out and to get into the box. The improvement in basic technical skill that we are talking about and the confidence in a philosophy which is instilled into players will solve the problems. I have been saying this for a number of years but it is very hard to be heard sometimes!

England have to look forward. Finding top players is not the problem. The potential is out there, all around. It is how to develop it which people should be talking about.

Miki's death puts Euros in perspective

The death at the weekend of one of the first players I signed at Liverpool, Miki Roque, has really put the European Championship into perspective for me.

It was a shock, because when I was in contact with Miki's family after he was diagnosed with a tumour in his pelvis last year it seemed that the operation had gone well.

He came to us from a modest level of Spanish football and threw himself into English life.

Of all the Spanish players I have signed, I don't know if any had such good as English as Miki.

He came on in the Champions League for us at Galatasaray and in the end he returned to Spain to further his career at Real Betis.

He was a friend of our Austrian forward Besian Idrizaj, another player whose life was lost when he suffered a heart attack, two years ago. The game of football really is the most insignificant thing. Rest in peace, Miki.

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Post by Zealous Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:35 am

In that article Rafa says you can't play the Barcelona way without Xavi, Iniesta and Messi.

So really he's implying thet Roy did the right thing.
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Post by MarkForrest17 Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:07 am

If Rooney Waited .5 seconds later to start that bicycle kick we aren't even having this conversation

Even as superior as italy was to england they still didn't score against them. Even with a GOAT player like pirlo creating for them.

Roy gave them the best chance to win. He put them in a great position to win. He got them to win the group and avoid spain, and they got very close to going even further. Its ridiculous to criticize Roy for what he did.

A ton of englands key players were also injured which made a squad already thin on talent even thinner. Give him time and the younger players in englands system time to develop also and maybe theyll turn into something better.
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Post by Lord Awesome Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:22 pm

If only this team were managed by Mou. Laughing
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Post by Navigateur Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:02 am

I agree with the article totally and no I don't believe England "had" to play that way. We keep hearing how good our back 4 is, with Scott Parker sitting in front, so why do they all need double-cover from our attacking/counterattacking players? The only time you need to play a 4-4 defense is when your back 4 are actually rubbish. That's not the case with England. If we had let Ashley Young roam forward, and played Oxlaide Chamberlain on the left, and let Gerrard get forward, there would have been more options for the person with the ball, and hence more possession, and our back 4 are more than capable of handling the threat without double-cover for all of them. And I completely agree about the pressing and harrying together. Hodgson didn't instruct Rooney or Welbeck to do so, presumably to save their legs for the counter-attack - but where was the counter-attack? Fabio Cappello was VERY adamant that England must press frantically and high up the pitch - is he a mug?

How do we KNOW how good England are if we don't even try to attack? How do we know how good/bad our defense is if we're giving them all double-cover? I actually think England's tactical approach was a footballing disgrace, caused only by its architect, Roy Hodgson.

I believe Hodgson should be sacked immediately and replaced by Harry Redknapp asap. Redknapp is an attacking manager who also understands defending, and keeping Gary Neville as assistant can only help in that as well as in many other departments. Or get Guardiola.

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Post by BarrileteCosmico Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:48 am

At this point the question becomes "are England good enough to play better football effectively?" and frankly I'm not sure the answer is yes. Maybe with a different squad called up, but with that one?
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Post by michael1 Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:58 am

I don't get people defending Roy.

I mean the football has been shocking not to mention England had a fair bit of luck in their games.

Am I supposed to believe that a team like England dont have the players to play real football against a team like Ukraine ??

Ukraine outplayed were very lucky not to beat them.

Against Italy I've never seen a bigger bus parked !!!

Roy has a small team coaching mentality and will never get his team to play the kind of football the big teams do.

U can tell by the way he talks, as if possession isn't important ? Who is he kidding.

And him saying they played quite positively and werent looking for penalties is a joke lol.

There was nothing positive about the way they played, and they were certainly hanging on for penalties !!

Even more frustrating he talks as if penalties don't count and his team haven't lost.

Guaranteed if England won off penalties he would be hailing the result !!

So annoyed the way he's acted after the game he's lucky Italy's strikers buckled because that game should've ended in an even bigger embarrassment for England.

It's funny how all the excuses come out after the lossbut before the game they were more than happy to talk it up.
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