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World Cup 2014: How might England line up for Russia 2018?

Tags: jersey
World Cup 2014: How might England line up for Russia 2018?
world-cup-2014-how-might-england-line-up-for-russia-2018
As the World Cup drew to its conclusion amid the colour and splendour of the Maracana in Rio, England's brief and http://www.billsshop.us.com/Sammy_Watkins_Jersey undistinguished contribution to Brazil's World Cup did not even merit a footnote. Blink and you would have missed them. Months of preparation amounted to defeats by Italy and Uruguay in the space of six days before England manager Roy Hodgson and his squad were making the plans for the flight home. When the story of Brazil 2014 is told, it will be a tale of ambitious attacking football, Luis Suarez's bite and the World Cup semi-final carnage inflicted on the host in a 7-1 loss to Germany that will be revisited as long as the tournament is staged. England? Move along. Nothing to see here. The immediate priority for Hodgson and the Football Association will be preparations for England's Euro 2016 campaign, with a sympathetic group draw likely to allow them a relatively straightforward passage to France in two years. But what of the next World Cup in Russia? While Hodgson puts together briefing notes on how and why England slipped into and out of South America almost unnoticed, it is to be hoped a close eye was kept on how the rest of the World Cup played out. Apart from brief spells against Italy, England's approach was at odds with the fast-paced, counter attacking football even so-called underdogs such as Algeria and Costa Rica were able to produce. The task for Hodgson is to ensure England are not left staring into the distance as the rest of the football world disappears over the horizon and out of sight by the time the Russian campaign starts. The likelihood is that Hodgson, barring a spectacular and highly-unlikely success at Euro 2016, will be preparing the ground http://www.billsshop.us.com/Cyrus_Kouandjio_Jersey for his successor. And despite FA backing, he knows any false moves in the Euros could result in a swing in public mood. Hodgson will be 70 when the World Cup comes to Russia so on any level it is tough to see him in charge. Those who took on the role of apologists for the limp effort in Brazil claimed it at least gave some youngsters a chance, however limited, so Hodgson must seize the opportunity created by their arrival or he will be considered the man who allowed England to be left behind. The sight of England's players being applauded off in Belo Horizonte after a tedious goalless draw with Costa Rica was more a sign of acceptance than appreciation. Fans had almost lost the will to criticise. The lack of any angry reaction has been significant, but there is no guarantee that will remain the case should England get even one bad result in Euro qualifiers. If Hodgson does not stay in his post through to 2018 - and it is hard to see he will - the FA will then have a difficult choice because, while there have been crucial junctures for England before, this seems even more important given the scale of their failure in Brazil. he received wisdom seems to be that the national manager should now be English and interlocked with the work at the National Football Centre at St George's Park. This would suggest that, unless a new and emerging contender comes through, next man in line to succeed Hodgson would be either current coach Gary Neville or Gareth Southgate, who is in command of the under-21 side. Should this be the case? Should the FA simply go English for English sake if a better alternative is available? Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho flirted http://www.bearsshop.us.com/Ego_Ferguson_Jersey with the FA before and the fluid nature of his career means his path is not easy to map out. But his only national interest is Portugal and much later in his career. QPR boss Harry Redknapp and BBC Sport pundit Alan Hansen have both mentioned Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and Everton's Roberto Martinez as potential England managers. As one is from Northern Ireland and the other is a Catalan, they may not fit the brief, even if they actually wanted the job. For now it is Hodgson in charge and, while all eyes are on Euro 2016, the FA and England must also cast a glance long-term to Russia in four years' time with the express intention of putting on a better show than the cameo of failure produced in Brazil. England, at least, have some building blocks in place in the shape of exciting young players. Here, the old campaigner Hodgson must demonstrate he is the man to inspire them, relate to them and be capable of getting them playing the sort of football that has graced this World Cup. Hodgson and England must move with the times otherwise the idea of how they will fare at the 2018 World Cup might even be reduced to a redundant argument. They must qualify first.

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