Hodgson must keep England players happy in Brazil

Roy Hodgson

The England coach needs to allow his players time to relax during their adventure in Brazil.

It’s an obvious point to make that the England players shouldn’t be bored at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. They are representing their country in the biggest football tournament in the world. It is an opportunity that comes around only once every four years, and is gone all too soon.

Surely then, every moment should be savoured? The players should thrive on the atmosphere and enjoy every moment of the tournament into which they have invested so much time and effort to qualify.

Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as that. Inevitably there will be long periods of time that need to be filled. The team will train once a day – anymore and the risk of injuries or fatigue increases. There is only so much Xbox they can play, only so many matches on TV to watch.

The only options are to stay cooped up in the hotel, or venture out into town or onto the beach. Only here fans will mob the players. Not just English fans; remember, these men are famous worldwide. Constantly dealing with photos, autographs and crowds following them around will be extremely tiring – as bad as additional training sessions.

So it’s important to realise that for these players, there are going to be long periods of idleness that can only impact negatively on their morale. They are in an enclosed area with a group of people they may not particularly like – many of whom may have been rivals in bad-tempered domestic fixtures - without seeing their families and loved ones.

England coach Roy Hodgson should acknowledge this, and although he may not be able to do much about it, he should at least extend a degree of understanding towards his squad. Whether or not he agrees with how the players feel, it is his job to keep them as happy as possible. Telling them he has no sympathy is only going to make the situation worse.

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