Date:Friday September 25 2009
As I began reading Roy Hodgson`s post-match comments following the Carling Cup defeat at Man City, I recognized the typical circumspect, charitable and largely benign remarks we`ve all come to expect the from the gaffer.
He is nothing if not consistent. He praises the opponent; praises the work of the squad; and indicates in some manner that he was pleased or displeased with the result. In fact, during some post-match commentaries, you`d be hard-pressed to discern whether he was referring to a win or a loss. Good ol`, dignified Roy. Is there anyone better?
As I kept reading, I was surprised to find something out of the ordinary.
"To find ourselves at 1-1 going into extra-time was more than we could have hoped for, but we deserved it. I have got a pretty good idea now of which players I can trust."
"… a pretty good idea now of which players I can trust…"
Hmmmm. That`s not the typical Roy Hodgson fair.
Seldom can one describe any statement made by Roy as 'provocative,` but this one caused me to raise an eyebrow. Ok, maybe it wasn`t provocative, but this is Roy we`re talking about, here. Maybe the better description is 'revealing.`
I think many fans are keenly aware that Roy has some trust issues. Last season, unless forced by injury, he rarely deviated from his preferred starters. Further, unless your name was Nevland, Kamara or Gera, you received very few chances even as a substitute. In some cases, he would sign players then never use them (Andranik, Stoor, Gray). Understandable, though. He had a good thing going and didn`t want to upset the apple cart.
This season, however, early injuries and the Europa League have taken away the luxury of using the same players for every match. To this point, Roy has used either the whole of the 1st team or the whole of the 2nd team for matches, with very little mixing of the two. But, is something about to change? Did the Carling Cup defeat reveal something to Roy that will be evidenced in his squad selection against Arsenal, FC Basel or West Ham?
To whom might he be referring? Questions, questions.
I doubt we`ll see a change, but who knows!
Given your choice, what changes (if any) would you make to the starting lineup or their positioning on the field?
Date:Friday September 25 2009
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