Five things Roy Hodgson must do to turn England fortunes around

Roy Hodgson Walks

England suffered their worst World Cup campaign in 60 years.

England manager Roy Hodgson has been given something that managers gone by haven't been afforded before, and that's time to put things right after a poor campaign at a major championship.

The Three Lions were left rooted to the bottom of Group D after only picking up one point from their three games - which came in their final match with a draw against Costa Rica after defeats to Uruguay and Italy.

Some will say there were low expectations going into the World Cup in Brazil but will have backed them to at least get out of the group, perhaps to the quarter-final stage of the competition. Hodgson said beforehand he had a side that he felt was capable of winning the competition, but instead they have to catch an early flight home.

Here are a few things that Hodgson may need to change to make their next major championship display a success:

1) Play a system that fits the make-up of his squad:

Hodgson decided to go with a 4-2-3-1 system at the World Cup, but played players who were unaccustomed to playing in midfield. He had Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson in central positions but had a trio of Raheem Sterling, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck ahead of them making three. No matter which position in that three they were playing in, at least two of them were playing out of position. Wayne Rooney may operate centrally but he isn't naturally suited to midfield, and Danny Welbeck isn't a winger. What he could have done is play a diamond system at the past World Cup that used the Liverpool make-up of his squad effectively in the middle, Wayne Rooney in a striker role and encourage Glen Johnson and Leighton Baines to get forward and overlap from the full-back positions. At this World Cup they couldn't do that nearly as much as they would have liked.

Encourage his side to press the ball

In the heat of Manaus people will have said that it would have been hard to play too much of a pressing game against Italy - which is a fair point. But England seemed reluctant to press the ball as much as they should have done even in Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte, making more of a comfortable 90 minutes for their opponents than it should have been.

Cut out media gaffes

One thing you really don't want to do just before you face an opponent is to ensure their best player will definitely bring their A-game with them. Hodgson said he didn't believe Luis Suarez was truly world class until he proved himself at a World Cup ahead of England's game against Uruguay. Suarez then went on to score both goals in a 2-1 win to ensure England were catching an early flight home.

Where it not for the antics of the aforementioned Suarez, the England manager may be getting a bit more attention for this quote: "I'm pleased we gave the fans something to cheer about with our performance. We outplayed them in midfield." 

It's probably not the best thing to say when you've played a side ranked over 20 places below you, even if they have topped the group.

Stop playing players out of position

Sometimes you can't help playing players out of position as those selections can be forced upon you due to injuries and suspensions. Although Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck are capable of operating from the left, they're not naturals in that role, Jordan Henderson isn't a midfielder who is accustomed to sitting in a deeper role as he's more accustomed being a box-to-box player. Adam Lallana played on the flanks when he saw a piece of the action when he's been successful in a more central position for Southampton.

Think about the here and now

Whilst it is good to see younger players and trying to build a sustainable future for the national side, if experienced players are at his disposal who are available for selection and can do a great job for their country, then they must not be overlooked. Some may have applauded Hodgson's gamble in taking Luke Shaw ahead of Ashley Cole, some would even say he was vindicated because the 18-year-old's impressive display against Costa Rica - but there is a sense that John Terry could have formed a partnership with Gary Cahill that was so solid for Chelsea, and England may have benefited. Should the England boss have tried to talk the defender into playing for his country one last time?

There is also the case of looking to the future which can become an excuse. After getting to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012, it was all about building to the 2014 World Cup, now it seems to be all about building towards Euro 2016. That's one excuse that simply can't keep on being used.

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