• England

Hodgson in foul-mouthed outburst

ESPN staff
September 5, 2014
© PA Photos

Roy Hodgson has voiced his anger at critics who think England are destined for failure during his reign.

The manager's patience snapped in the direct aftermath of England's 1-0 victory over Norway, which came in front of a record low crowd of just 40,181 on Wednesday night.

Normally a calm and measured man, Hodgson was irritated when one reporter in his post-match news conference pointed out his side had registered just two shots on target. "Don't give me that," Hodgson snapped.

Stones to be England's rock

John Stones looked solid against Norway © PA Photos
  • John Stones looks set to keep his place in the England team for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland in Basel on Monday.
  • The 20-year-old Everton defender was one of the young players manager Roy Hodgson turned to in the friendly against Norway and looks likely to keep faith with him.
  • "Playing him would not be a gamble at all," Hodgson said. "His defensive performance was very good [against Norway] but we are not going to get as much out of him going forward as you would out of Kyle Walker, who is an attacking right-back, but he did bring his straw to the water."

And his mood continued to darken in an off-camera follow-up briefing with the written media.

"I am entitled to be [unhappy] when I get questions about only having two shots on target," the England manager said in a sharp tone.

"You have just seen an England team dominate for 45 minutes against a good opponent, an opponent that's hard to beat and you have seen them work very hard to create chances.

"There was a lot of euphoria before the World Cup. We were getting 75,000 people to see us play Peru, who, with respect, were nowhere near as difficult an opponent as Norway. And now we have 40,000.

"I can't put that right because I can't turn the clock back, but what I can do is analyse what I have seen and judge that through my eyes, and not judge it because someone is going to tell me: 'Well, you only had two shots at goal' because for me, that is absolute f***ing b******s, I'm sorry."

Hodgson maintained England had harried the opposition, dominated possession and created several chances against a difficult opponent and insisted he had every right to be optimistic about the future.

But he warned that without players such as Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole around, England are short on experience and the new crop of players need time to establish themselves at international level.

"Some of these players are top-class players in the making, but the players are in the making," Hodgson said.

"You can't play five or six games for England and be a regular at Liverpool for six or seven months and then be David Beckham.

"You can't be Phil Jones with all the injuries he has had and nail down a place in the Manchester United first team and then become John Terry.

"You can't be Jack Wilshere, who has lost all that football through injury, and then all of a sudden be Bryan Robson. Let's be fair on all of these things. That's all I am asking.

"Allow me to be excited about what they can do and allow me to stand up and say I think my team played well at a press conference when I think they have."

Hodgson was at pains to point out he had been severely restricted in his selection by injuries.

Luke Shaw, Ross Barkley, Adam Lallana, Jon Flanagan, Jay Rodriguez and Chris Smalling would have all made a difference had they been been fit, Hodgson argued.

The injury crisis caused Hodgson to hand Fabian Delph and Calum Chambers their debuts on Wednesday, while John Stones made his first England start.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close