I have been very surprised by England’s EURO 2012 progress under the new leadership of Roy Hodgson. I honestly expected a Steve McClaren type of reign; where the manager picks the same players, plays in the same style and makes all the same mistakes.
Hodgson has fielded mostly the same players that one would expect with a couple of new faces mixed in; no great surprises there, but the way England are playing is totally different. It certainly isn’t pretty to watch, in fact to a neutral it is probably dead boring, but man is it organized! And at the end of the day it gets results and results win tournaments.
England are looking like one of the most difficult teams to beat at EURO 2012. As they showed against the Ukraine they are very difficult to break down, and have been giving away very few chances. On the flip side they have not been creating many chances at the other end either.
All England fans would love for England to play expansive Brazilian or Spanish football, winning matches with 40 shots on target, 30 corners and 8-nill scorelines on the way to win major tournaments. This, however, is just not reasonable with the personnel that we have available; Hodgson has embraced the reality of what England is capable of.
In my opinion playing this way is the only way England will have chance at winning the tournament, and we already owe Hodgson a great deal of gratitude for not only progressing from the group stage, but winning the group by a clear 3 points.