Has England manager Roy Hodgson just issued an unusual criticism towards the Manchester Untied players in his squad? The Three Lions boss has claimed he could train a pub team to play against them.
United had their worst ever Premier League season last campaign as they finished seventh and failed to qualify for the Champions League.
This is what Hodgson reportedly said to World Soccer Magazine at the beginning on the week.
"You can organise a pub team not to let in six goals against Manchester United," the report said. "Give me six months and I’d organise them, if they had a half-decent goalkeeper and a couple of centre halves who can get in the way of the ball."
Hodgson named four Manchester United player’s in his England squad for this summer’s World Cup, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley are also on the standby list, but how would the players react to Hodgson’s ‘pub team’ comments?
It seems what the England manager was trying to explain was how becoming a football manager requires hard work, and that anything is possible with the right tactics.
“I consider myself to be in the same position as a lawyer,” Hodgson added. “I studied to be a professional. I like to think that I’m good at my profession. It’s nice for people to believe some managers are born with a magical quality to transform bad into good. I don’t. It’s about leadership, practice, repetition and bloody hard work.”
One aspect of Hodgson’s quote that was not referenced to by the British media, was a possibility that the comments could have been spoken with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho in mind.
Mourinho gained a huge amount of praise when Chelsea kept out Liverpool at Anfield a month ago, and went on to win the game 2-0. ‘Genius’ and ‘masterclass’ were two terms branded around in wake of the result, but clearly Roy Hodgson suggests that drilling a defence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Either way, should Luis Suarez pass fit to face England for Uruguay in a month’s time, Hodgson will certainly be hoping he can prepare his defence, albeit perhaps, without any Manchester United players.