Hodgson’s England stay on track
Although not everyone’s favourite, England manager Roy Hodgson has held on to his undefeated record in regular play after seven internationals.
In their last outing, in neutral Berne, Hodgson opted for a team that included five debutants in a friendly against Italy and the Three Lions won it 2-1.
England played only once at home with Hodgson as coach, against Belgium.
After the European Championship, England, ousted by Italy on penalties in the quarter-final after a 0-0 draw, climbed to their highest ranking position of third in the FIFA list, still led by the all-conquering Spaniards.
England’s results under manager Hodgson:
May 26, 2012 (Oslo): Norway-England 0-1 (Young) friendly.
Debuts to Martin Kelly (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlaine (Arsenal).
June 2, 2012 (Wembley): England-Belgium 1-0 (Welbeck) friendly.
June 11, 2012 (Donetsk): England-France 1-1 (Lescott). European Championship.
June 15, 2012 (Kiev): England-Sweden 3-2 (Carroll, Walcott, Welbeck). European Championship.
June 19, 2012 (Donetsk): England-Ukraine 1-0 (Rooney). European Championship.
June 24, 2012 (Kiev): England-Italy 0-0 (Italy win 4-2 on penalties). European Champion-ship quarter-final.
August 16, 2012 (Berne): England-Italy 2-1 (Jagielka, Defoe) friendly.
Debuts for Jack Butland (Birmingham), John Ruddy (Norwich), Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea), Jake Livermore (Tottenham), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United).
The following is the last eight England managers and their first upset while at the helm:
Fabio Capello: after one match – vs France away 0-1 (friendly).
Steven McClaren: after four matches – vs Croatia away 0-2 (Euro qualifier).
Sven Goran Eriksson: after five matches – vs Holland home 0-2 (friendly).
Kevin Keegan: after eight matches – vs Scotland home 0-1 (Euro qualifier).
Glenn Hoddle: after three matches – vs Italy home 0-1 (World Cup qualifier).
Terry Venables: after nine matches – vs Brazil (home) 1-3 (Umbro Cup).
Graham Taylor: after 12 matches – vs Germany (home) 0-1 (friendly).
Bobby Robson: after one match – vs West Germany home 1-2 (friendly).
Since FIFA gave its members the nod to use more than three substitutes in friendlies – most likely for the coaches involved to try as many players as possible – speculation has always been rife about the abolishing of trial matches.
In February 2003, Eriksson made 11 changes in the friendly against Australia at Upton Park where the home side lost 3-1.
The players involved were: Robinson for James; Konchesky for Ashley Cole; Jenas for Scholes; Jeffers for Beattie; Rooney for Owen; Mills for G. Neville; Brown for Ferdinand; King for Campbell; Hargreaves for Beckham; Murphy for Lampard; and Vassell for Dyer
In Berne earlier this month, Butland was replaced at the break by Ruddy, the first time England had two debut-making goalkeepers in a game since Joe Corrigan and Jimmy Rimmer in 1976.
Ruddy, so deserving of a cap after an unfortunate injury had denied him a place in the England squad for Euro 2012, made a couple of fine saves against the Azzurri.
During his time, Eriksson used 31 players – four keepers, 10 defenders, 13 midfielders and four forwards.
He also gave debut to seven players – two keepers, two defenders and three midfielders.
Hodgson, meanwhile, has already had two captains – Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
England’s scorers under Hodgson read: Welbeck (twice), Rooney, Young, Lescott, Jagielka, Carroll, Walcott, Defoe.