Roy Hodgson has admitted that he did consider calling up Wilfried Zaha, before deciding that Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard was better placed for a role in the England squad despite playing less than 200 minutes of football this season.
Hodgson’s quotes here will likely leave you feeling more disillusioned than ever about the immediate future of the England football team. The man is systematically killing off our chances of success with a bevvy of weak managerial decisions.
Hodgson was speaking to the press ahead of tonight’s game against France at Wembley, seemingly unaware of the sceptical response of many across the country to his decision to call up Lingard in place of countless other more worthy candidates. Indeed, the United man’s inclusion has angered a fair few United fans too, who feel that it is simply too soon in the youngster’s development to throw into such a high-profile game.
The question which should be most quickly asked of the England boss, is what he saw in Lingard that he hasn’t seen in the likes of Zaha or Marc Albrighton so far this season, given the start they’ve all enjoyed in comparison to the 22-year-old.
In many ways, Hodgson’s reign is descending into farce, not least as a result of his comments from a week or two before the latest England squad was announced, when he claimed that the friendlies against Spain and France would not be used as a vehicle for experimentation, as he already had a solid feel of who would be a part of his squad at next summer’s tournament in France.
Clearly, the idea of using an inexperienced winger on the basis of just over 100 minutes of top flight football doesn’t come under the label of “experimentation” in Hodgson’s mind, even if everyone else in the country has been left baffled by his motives. Unfortunately, whichever way you slice this, England are sleepwalking towards another early exit at a major tournament, with the man at the helm ushering in a culture of elitism with each passing week.
Fans, players and coaches are all becoming more and more apathetic towards the national team’s plight, despite the depth of quality bubbling just underneath the surface, which for us, is the biggest of Hodgson’s countless failures as the figurative head of the England football team.