Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Hodgson can now experiment

07 September 2015, 06:55

London - England's early qualification for next year's Euro 2016 finals in France has given manager Roy Hodgson the rare luxury of being able to experiment with his selections well ahead of the tournament kicking off.

England's 6-0 win over San Marino on Saturday maintained their perfect record in Group E with seven wins out of seven and they became the first country to take their place alongside the French hosts in the expanded 24-team finals.

It was the earliest England have ever qualified for any major tournament apart from when they hosted the World Cup in 1966 and the European championship in 1996, and skipper Wayne Rooney now wants them to win every match in their qualifying group for the first time.

With a home game to come against Switzerland on Tuesday followed by October's double-header against Estonia at Wembley before signing off with a visit to Lithuania, England could well make it 10 wins out of 10 and preserve their long unbeaten run in both World Cup and Euro qualifiers which dates back 26 matches to a 1-0 loss to Ukraine in October 2009.

Hodgson told the BBC: "I'm not sure early qualification gives us any particular advantage because we are going to take a lot of time to plan and improve anyway.

"What it could do is give me the opportunity for experimentation because we did not get that ahead of the World Cup when we had to win our last two qualifiers to get to Brazil."

Also Read: English soccer pauses to remember deadly 1985 Bradford fire

Although England failed to get out of the group stage in the World Cup last year, they are now unbeaten in their last 12 internationals.

They were always likely to emerge unscathed from a Euro qualifying group against the likes of San Marino, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Switzerland, but younger players have impressed Hodgson during the course of the campaign.

Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne, 24, looks like being England's best right-back since Gary Neville while Jonjo Shelvey, 23, has played his way back into the squad after some fine performances for Swansea.

Everton defender John Stones and his club mate Ross Barkley, also 21, who scored his first goal for England against San Marino and now has 14 caps, look set for long international careers.

Young forwards like Harry Kane, 22, of Tottenham Hotspur, and Raheem Sterling, 20, of Manchester City, also provide options for Hodgson in attack.

Rooney, meanwhile, may not have made a blistering start to the season with Manchester United, but the skipper, who will be 30 next month, is still a key figure as far as Hodgson is concerned.

Rooney equalled Bobby Charlton's all-time England record of 49 goals against San Marino before Hodgson swapped him for Kane with nearly an hour played.

Some have criticised Hodgson for taking him off when the record was there to be broken, but the manager explained: "The substitution was planned with a view to Tuesday night against Switzerland.

"It would be nice if Wayne got his 50th goal against Switzerland, but one thing for certain is that he will get it.

"It is not as if this was his last game and his only chance.

"If this was his last game for England and he needed that one goal, then I wouldn't have taken him off."

Rooney added: "I'm delighted to have equalled the record, now I'd like to break it, but more importantly I hope we can make it 10 wins out of 10."

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...