Leeds United: England will make it to Brazil - Ormsby

Roy Hodgson.
Roy Hodgson.
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Leeds United legend Brendan Ormsby answers your questions.

Brendan, Do you think England will struggle to qualify for next year’s World Cup?

As readers will probably know, I always expect England to qualify for every tournament, just as I expect Leeds to get in the play-offs at the start of every Championship season!

Over the years, it seems to be usually one of the other home nations who play out one or two of the top European teams. England very rarely do.

Our current group has no big threats, although that’s not to say it’s easy. And being England, they won’t walk it and it will be a struggle. But I still think they will get to Brazil next year, just.

Many nations have caught us up and we don’t seem to be advancing in terms of technique.

Roy Hodgson, above, seems to set out teams in a formation to make sure he is not going to lose, instead of attacking formations in most games.

You can understand not wanting to get beaten, but it’s not attractive to watch and to be sure of top spot in our group, we need to win our games now.

But for me, we’ll qualify. Although in the tournaments with the big boys, we’ll struggle.

Mourinho will need his special powers

Hi Brendan, What do you reckon to all this Mourinho hype now he’s back at Chelsea, it’s not the same second time around and I am not convinced – as a Leeds fan, let’s hope he fails!

I agree, it can backfire going back somewhere to manage the second time. So I’m not sure it’s a good thing either.

Obviously, Mourinho will be happy with a four-year contract and more millions in his bank account. First time around, he had a great time there, but if he doesn’t repeat that he’ll be seen as a failure. He could be on a hiding to nothing and we’ll soon see how ‘special’ he is, this time around. A lot of players there such as Lampard and Terry are coming towards the end of their careers now.

Mourinho is the type of person who I wouldn’t put anything past, mind. And I do think he’s the sort of manager players actually like and want to play for.

Lots is made of man-management and it’s important to a lot of modern-day players, who need an arm around them.

To be fair, in my playing days I didn’t mind a rollicking in front of people and didn’t need a manager to put his arm around me and have a quiet word. That was me and a lot of players in my day were like that. I’d take the rollicking for my own good and get on with it.

When I was manager at Pontefract, my assistants would tell me that this player and that player would need an arm around them and needed to be rung up and told how good they were and I’d say: “No way, it’s a game of football!” I know what they meant, but it’s a man’s game for me, although I did tell players how good they were if they’d done the business and what they could and couldn’t do. It wasn’t like players weren’t frightened of speaking to me and they could talk to me. But I didn’t pamper them.

But these days, with the modern professional players, a quiet word can go a long way and mean a lot and Mourinho’s side at Chelsea were a close unit and the players loved him and wanted to play for him.

A lot of players for me though are a pain in the backside as they are so highly strung.

The players have their nutrition foods wheeled in on trolleys after games and fitness regimes to follow in the summer and are so looked after – don’t get me wrong it’s no bad thing and I am not knocking it, but I played for 20 years and players did before me without it.

They are treated like royalty and everything is done for them and that’s why there’s all these emphasis on man-management now as well. Players need managers to speak to them and cajole them and say the right things that they want to hear and have that patter and Mourinho has got that.

But we will have to see how he does.

Matthew Pennington.

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