Football

SVEN'S SWIPE

Former England boss Eriksson says Hodgson would have been sacked if he's not English

Former England boss Eriksson says Hodgson would have been sacked if he’s not English

Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has claimed that Roy Hodgson would have been sacked for his World Cup failure if he had been a foreigner.

The Football Association has confirmed that Hodgson will remain in charge, despite the national team's premature exit in Brazil just two games into the group stage.

However, Eriksson (above), who departed in 2006 having reached the quarter-finals in three major tournaments only to progress no further, insists he would not have been so fortunate.

The 66-year-old Swede said: "I know for sure if that had been me, I would have been sacked at once. If he were foreign, he would be sacked. I'm quite sure about that."

However, Eriksson, who admitted that he would like a second chance to manage England, said the FA is right to stick with Hodgson.

He said: "If they don't want me back, keep Hodgson. He's good. I would come back at once, of course. But that will not happen."

England arrived in Brazil with expectations back at home as low as they have been in recent years, although still contrived not to fulfil them.

However, Eriksson, currently in charge of Chinese club Guangzhou R&F, cannot understand why optimism was in such short supply.

He said: "I don't know why the expectations are so low today. The expectations in the three tournaments I had the team were the final or semi-final - no other discussions.

"And, when we reached the quarter-final, that was not good enough. Today, it seems to be very, very good if you could do this.

"I don't think things have changed, realistically. England still have a very, very good team. It's not that the rest of the world are far, far ahead of England. It's not like that."

Meanwhile, Gary Lineker thinks that Hodgson got his tactics completely wrong at the World Cup.

In a frank assessment of England's "humiliating" exit, the former striker also criticised Steven Gerrard for a supposed lack of organisation in the 2-1 defeat by Italy.

"Personally, I think Roy got it wrong," Lineker said.

"The system that suits this kind of England better, with the lack of experience in it, is probably a 4-3-3.

"He tried to play with just two players in the centre of midfield. In the first game, I thought it was better because he had (Raheem) Sterling behind (Daniel) Sturridge, and that gave us three because Sterling is more of a natural midfield player than (Wayne) Rooney.

"But I just think it is too big an ask for just two central midfield players and once again we were outnumbered.

"The problem with this 4-2-3-1 is that it very quickly becomes a 4-4-2 or at least a 4-4-1-1 and we end up with flat lines and people getting between us.

"I think we would have been better - and I said this before the tournament - with three midfield players because you've got to give yourself a chance defensively." - PA Sport.

World Cup