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Should Hodgson continue with the approach of the final two qualifiers?

Hodgson was praised when the pressure was on and England needed to take the game to the opposition to get to the World Cup. Will we see more of the same?

Aggression isn’t something you’d normally associate with Roy Hodgson and his tactics – that was, until the performances in the last two World Cup qualifiers for England against Montenegro and Poland.

Both of them were must win games and there were plaudits handed out to the England manager for his will to take the game more to the opposition as England came through 4-1 and 2-0 respectively to take their place at the World Cup finals in Brazil next summer.

Previously there had been some more cautious performances in there from Hodgson’s Lions, notably away from with their performance in a 0-0 draw with Ukraine coming in for some heavy criticism from both the fans and the press.

But will the England manager revert to type now the objective of qualification has been attained, or will he try to build on that momentum during this week’s friendlies against Chile and Germany?

It would be poor if not. Hodgson seems to have realised of late that he does have players at his disposal to both be aggressive without altering his style of player too much. Andros Townsend is an example of this as a player who has a relentless amount of pace, Daniel Sturridge is a man in form for his club – even though he picked up a little knock at the weekend – whilst the England manager has effective full-backs going forward at his disposal.

Of course, the England boss has the opportunity to make his side more counter-attacking, but if he continues with the policy of picking players who are in form for their club regardless of their reputation like with the Southampton trio of Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert, then he will have a side full of confidence who won’t mind taking the game to the opposition.

Combine these players with the experience and quality that England already possess, it already dispels any myth that the group of players at the manager's disposal is one of the worst in years.

Continuing a more aggressive approach in friendlies could make other nations sit up and take notice ahead of next summer.

image: © philosophy football

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