Former England manager Glenn Hoddle believes Roy Hodgson’s previous experience in a major tournament will prove pivotal during Euro 2012.
After Fabio Capello’s surprise departure in February, Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp was widely touted as the favourite to replace the Italian, but many were surprised when Hodgson was announced as the national team's new head honcho last month.
Having only had two friendlies to have a look at his squad, Hodgson and England got their Euro 2012 campaign off to a reasonable start with a 1-1 draw against group rivals France, with Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine still to play.
Despite all his critics, Hodgson has Hoddle’s backing, with the belief that his experience in the 1994 World Cup with Switzerland will play an influential role in getting the team focused and delivering success.
"I think Roy will understand what it all means when you get out there. Obviously the friendlies are the friendlies, but quite honestly its once you get out to the tournament and you’re in the camp," Hoddle told Yahoo!
"Once you’re in there you can switch off, get focused on what the job at hand is, pick your squad and start to win football matches. You have to peak at the right time and I think its been difficult for Roy to say the least."
Although Hoddle, who has been out of management since 2006 and now runs his own football academy, speaks well of Hodgson, he believes the 64-year-old should have considered playmaker Joe Cole when picking his squad.
After struggling to make an impact with Liverpool, West Ham youth product Cole went on loan to French club Lille last season and impressed, resulting in him becoming an outsider for the squad.
Having played in France himself with Monaco, Hoddle feels Cole would have had a positive impact on a relatively young and experienced squad in Poland and Ukraine.
"It is something I hope Roy would have looked at. Joe has done very well for England sometimes when he was playing in the World Cups; he would play better for England than he would for his club," he added.
"And I would have taken that into consideration without a shadow of a doubt, I don’t know if Roy did. Again the squad looks pretty young and inexperienced and Joe has that experience under his belt and knows the foreign game.
"He’s got good experience at international level, he played in Champions League level and he’s played abroad. I went and played in France and it widens your horizons and you learn so much more playing in a different system and a different culture. So I think he would have been pretty close to getting in the squad."
For more insight from Glenn Hoddle and other leading managers, plus coverage of Euro 2012, visit yahoo.eurosport.com
By Matt Maltbycomments