Hodgson

Roy Hodgson whines about strikers with only himself to blame

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Ahead of today’s friendly match against Brazil, England manager Roy Hodgson is whining over his thin striker pool, which is limited to just Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe.

“One of the areas where we’ve been unfortunate is in the choice and availability of front players,” Hodgson said. “Three of the front players I would like to have brought here have not been available for selection.”

Those three players are Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll.

It’s obvious why Hodgson laments losing Sturridge and Welbeck. The England manager “thought picking Wayne Rooney and Sturridge was a very exciting attacking duo” but unfortunately the Liverpool man injured his ankle in England’s 1-1 draw with the Ireland on Wednesday. Welbeck is another tough pill to swallow as he has not been able to shake off a knee injury that kept him sidelined for the Ireland match.

But Carroll? I’ve got no sympathy for Hodgson on that one.

Hodgson named Carroll to the England squad on May 16th but by May 21st the striker was ruled out of England’s friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil with a heel injury. When news of Carroll’s injury broke, Hodgson could have called in a replacement but specifically decided against doing so.

That’s just poor management.

What makes it even worse management is that after Welbeck wasn’t fit to go against Ireland and Sturridge went down, Hodgson still failed to call in replacements. Now granted, it would have been short turnaround but a proper manager would have had backups on notice and ready to go at the drop of a dime.

Seriously, don’t tell me that Rickie Lambert would not have been at Heathrow, kitted up and ready to go within an hour of receiving that call.

Point being, I’m sick of Hodgson crying about how “[in] the Premier League most of the strikers are foreigners”. He needs to stop acting like he doesn’t have players to select for his squad.

Are they world-class strikers? No. But can they get the job done? Can they make an impact? Absolutely. So why not give them a call up even if it’s to ride the pine in case someone gets injured?

Guys like Lambert can do the job. Gary Hooper can do the job. Heck, if things are truly thin would it really be so terrible to give someone like Jordan Rhodes, Adam La Fondre or even Wilfried Zaha a look? What’s the worst that could happen?

So, sorry Roy, but no pity party here. You’ve only got yourself to blame.

 

 

Ranking the Copa America Centenario contenders

Copa America trophy — 2015 Copa America
AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo
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Sixteen teams enter next month’s Copa America Centenario tournament, and only one emerges as the champion of North, South and Central America.

Will it be Chile who continues its reign? Will Argentina, Brazil or Uruguay find revenge? Can a CONCACAF side thrive with the tourney in the United States?

[ PREVIEWS: Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D ]

There a varying degrees of likelihood that a country rises above the field to win this year’s competition. In this post, we’ll rank the sides from 16 to 1, unlikeliest to likeliest.

16. Haiti — Happy to be there? Circling the Peru match on its calendar.

15. Venezuela — If Salomon Rondon can make things happen, who knows?

14. Bolivia — Lots of work to be done here.

13. Jamaica — Winfried Schaefer’s team has struggled since its strong Gold Cup.

12. Peru — Inexperience will be a problem.

11. Paraguay — Wins have been hard to come by for Los Guaraníes.

10. Panama — Are they primed for a run, or too old to outlast its group opponents?

9. Ecuador — Dangerous but inconsistent, La Tricolor has an easier group from which to advance than most.

8. Costa Rica — If the USMNT falters under the pressure of hosts, Los Ticos will be most likely to benefit in Group A.

[ USMNT-ECUADOR: Match recap | Player ratings | 3 things ]

7. United States — Hosting is a big deal, and Jurgen Klinsmann seems ready to take a more orthodox approach to his lineups. The Yanks will run more than a few teams ragged, depending on how the chips fall.

6. Uruguay — Navigating the absence of Luis Suarez, which could last the group stage or longer, knocks them down a peg.

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

5. Mexico — It’s another golden generation for El Tri, and it’s not far-fetched to imagine Mexico makes a run at everything.

4. Colombia — James Rodriguez goes back to being the focal point of an attack, and will remind us just how good he is while under the spotlight.

3. Chile — Repeating is hard, and Chile had a lot of home cooking good fortune in its hosted run to a first title.

2. Brazil — No the side won’t be fully loaded, but Dunga has shown he knows how to run a side with or without Neymar.

  1. Argentina — This could be Lionel Messi’s year to lift hardware for club and country.

Ferdinand lauds Mourinho hiring: “This winner is now a wounded animal”

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Rio Ferdinand isn’t waiting for Manchester United to make it official, lauding the hiring of Jose Mourinho as his former club’s latest manager.

Ferdinand said Mourinho’s personality is “made for this great club”, as the longtime Red Devils defender took to Facebook to hail the Special One.

[ MORE: Five things United must do under Mourinho ]

Ferdinand, 37, made 455 appearances for United in a 19-year career that included stops at West Ham, QPR, Bournemouth and Leeds.

He says Mourinho will be a motivated and dangerous boss when he takes control in place of fired manager Louis Van Gaal.

“After his recent unsuccessful time at Chelsea in the final year, I can assure you this winner is now a wounded animal which makes him such a mouthwatering appointment. Jose went from winning the League Cup & Premier League to a season of disappointment at Chelsea and I am certain he will want to restore all of that very quickly.”

LISTEN: Copa America drops official song “Superstar” (Pitbull warning)

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Pitbull has joined forces with Becky G to make the official song of the Copa America Centenario, “Superstar”, which they will perform before the final.

I know Pitbull for liking light beer, and Becky G for going on dates with Sebastian Lletget of the L.A. Galaxy.

[ PREVIEWS: Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D ]

This, in all its pop glory, has a catchy-enough hook and a stadium-like chant that hopes to catch on like “Seven Nation Army”. The kids should dig it.

That’s all I got. Enjoy the jammage.

Report: Mourinho signs deal with Manchester United

Chelsea's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho gestures during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 26, 2014.  AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS 

RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.        (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Noon ET.

That’s the time Sky Sports claims that Jose Mourinho put pen to paper on a deal that makes him the latest manager of Manchester United.

[ MORE: Five things United must do under Mourinho ]

The report says Mourinho returned home with a bottle of red wine after signing the deal at a London hotel.

From Sky Sports:

Mourinho symbolically wore a black and red tie for the final stage of negotiations, and the deal is completed on the 12th anniversary of his winning the Champions League for the first time with Porto.

Now, we wait. As a publicly-traded company, there are certain constraints United faces in making announcements that other clubs don’t have to entertain.