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.