Betting Spy: Nice Roy makes England decent losers

Grant Prior 10 years ago

Roy Hodgson is a very nice man. He’s even made the England team more loveable than its previous Wag-toting, supporter-baiting incarnations.

But the jury is still very much out on his tactics after we limped out of Euro 2012 with barely a whimper.

Hodgson has certainly installed a sense of decency in the squad.

But did that new-found politeness have to extend to not standing too close to Italy’s Andrea Pirlo for 120 minutes?

No wonder he chipped his penalty. He probably thought Joe Hart would get out of the way after enjoying a 20 yard exclusion zone from England markers all night.

Hodgson had to put a man marker on Pirlo to stop him running the game.

Instead Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck were tasked with keeping an eye on him.

Both failed miserably and Pirlo ran the show resulting in 68% possession for the Italians.

You can’t win games without the ball and that’s our biggest weakness at the moment.

Hodgson had to work with what he had and now the usual apres tournament inquest is in full swing as to why we are technically inferior to other sides.

It’s fairly simple. All our top Premiership players are foreign and ball skills are actively discouraged in youth football.

Dream on if you think we are going to stop world stars dominating “the greatest league in the world” or rabid dads are going to encourage little Johnny to risk a dribble when the bigger boys are bearing down on him.

A quiet evolution might see Jack Wilshere emerge as a true play maker with the pace of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain always a threat.

Future England teams need to keep the ball in the middle and rely on our defensive steel and pacy forwards to progress in tournaments.

Note the word pacy. Not lumbering strikers like Andy Carroll, or,dare I say it, Wayne Rooney who continues to disappoint on the biggest stage.

Returning Rooney was seen as our catalyst. Instead he had a nightmare and looked miles off the pace.

Perhaps he’s suffering from a reverse Samson effect and is playing like he’s got £15,000 in £50 notes balanced on his head.

But enough about England. On to the final where Italy take on Spain.

And if there’s a sense of deja vu about that then let me refresh your memory with these pearls of wisdom from the Betting Spy tournament preview:

“Spain have the best squad and vital experience of winning tournaments and at 11/4 look a standout punt.”

“The side I see challenging the hardest are Italy who have been written-off in many quarters.

“A solid defence and Pirlo and Cassano having one last hurrah alongside the maverick Balotelli could be a recipe for success and at 14/1 they have decent each-way prospects.”

Hopefully you are holding both vouchers and can’t lose but I can see Spain winning despite Del Bosque’s continuing refusal to play strikers.

It’s like Roy Hodgson picking Scott Parket up top.

I won’t desert them now so the final tip of the season is Spain in 90 minutes to prove their class and lift their third major title in a row.

Betting Spy will be taking a break until the start of the new football season but will chip in with the odd summer column covering the major sporting events.

Betting Spy has joined forces with Paddy Power to offer all readers a free bet when they open an account. Just click on the link below to visit construction’s favourite bookmaker to find out all the latest prices and follow the easy steps to setting-up an online, telephone or mobile account

Running Total for all 2012 bets to a £10 stake:   +£179.00

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