Andy Ritchie: Why it would be madness to sack England coach Hodgson

Luis Suarez celebrates. PIC: PA
Luis Suarez celebrates. PIC: PA
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ENGLAND are out of the World Cup after just two group games and some people are already calling for Roy Hodgson to be sacked. To me, that’s nonsense.

At the end of the day, weren’t most people expecting nothing before we went out to Brazil ahead of the start of the tournament?

So, from a personal point of view, I don’t know what all this talk of sacking him is about after narrowly losing two group games to two good sides in Italy and Uruguay in Manaus and Sao Paulo.

Looking back to the fateful game on Thursday evening, it was another performance where we had a lot of possession.

But in the final analysis, possession doesn’t win you games and at the end of the day, Luis Suarez was the difference, wasn’t he?

What a lethal finisher he is, give him a sniff and he will take it and really punish you. You can’t give him anything.

That said, I thought the referee was totally inept and that Godin should have been sent off, no doubt about that, so England were unlucky there.

Even later on after he wasn’t penalised for the handball, he went through the back of Sturridge and the referee didn’t say anything to him.

He should have been sent off, no doubt about that and that could have changed the game.

Looking at the game, I thought we played okay, but we just have not got that real killer striker at the moment.

Daniel Sturridge might become that as he’s a great talent, but he’s not Suarez, who is just different class.

Not that our back four helped themselves. Suarez finished his second goal emphatically, but it was bad defending as well and I think that has been our biggest weakness in the tournament.

We just haven’t got world-class defenders, unfortunately.

Personally, I think we would have been better having John Terry playing in the heart of the defence and he obviously has a partnership at club level with Gary Cahill with the pair of them having played at Champions League level for Chelsea.

However, it seems as if he’s had enough of international football with England, by the sounds of it.

I was also surprised that Ashley Cole wasn’t there in the World Cup squad because I still think he’s a world-class defender or certainly our best left-back.

I would have taken him and Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw as a spectator, to enjoy the ride if you like, to experience it. I certainly think now we are out, we might as well go for it and play Shaw, Barkley, Lallana and Oxlade-Chamberlain if fit. Roy might as well give them a go and see how they do against the Costa Ricans in Belo Horizonte tomorrow afternoon. What he has got to lose?

Back onto matters at home and obviously, Leeds United’s search for a head coach has finally ended with the appointment of Dave Hockaday and it is perfectly obvious that Massimo Cellino wanted a coach and not a manager type.

There will be plenty to do to sort out pre-season for a start and Leeds have not a lot of time to do it in and Dave will be kept very busy.

I don’t know a lot about Dave, really, but one thing you can say is that he will be diligent, there’s no doubt about that.

With him having worked under Aidy Boothroyd at Watford, who I know very well, I know for a fact he will certainly be that and won’t leave any stone unturned and will be hard-working as those are the type of people who Aidy works with.

He is going to give it his best shot and we’ll see how it pans out for him.

As a footballer, whoever is appointed as a coach or manager, you have to respect the boss and do what he wants, regardless of whoever he is and just get on with it.

The Leeds players will have to do it the way Dave wants, otherwise they will be out of the door, won’t they?

Looking at it, it is fair to say that Hockaday will need to hit the ground running because I think Leeds fans were probably expecting a bigger name, no disrespect to him, and he’s certainly got a job to do there as well to win them over.

Obviously, it’s a tough start to the season with an opening-day trip to Millwall and then it’s Middlesbrough at Elland Road first up, which is a bit of a derby. He will really be desperate for a couple of good results to get him off on the right foot with the Leeds supporters, that is for sure.

Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen.

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