Hodgson aims to leave Germans feeling Low

Roy Hodgson's friendship with Joachim Low may stretch back years, but the England manager will have no qualms sending his opposite number home with nothing.

Football News: Joachim Loew Germany

The latest chapter of England's long-running rivalry with Germany will be written at Wembley when Low's men come to London seeking to inflict another damaging defeat on Hodgson.

After a slight hiccup halfway through the campaign, Hodgson received popular acclaim for guiding England to the World Cup, but the honeymoon did not last long.

The England fans made their discontent clear last week when they booed the team off following a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Chile.

If the England manager needed a pick-me-up, then he got it from Low.

At a press conference in central London on Monday, the Germany manager hailed the England boss as a "fantastic coach" whose "dynamic approach" was driving the nation back to greatness following their recent slump.

Twenty miles away at England's base in Hertfordshire, Hodgson returned the compliment.

Hodgson spoke about his first meeting with Low back in 1995 when he was manager of Switzerland and the German was in charge of Swiss side FC Frauenfeld.

The 66-year-old told Low that he was impressed with his work at the 2006 World Cup when he bumped into the German just before the tournament, which proved to be a watershed moment for Die Mannschaft.

Low went on to manage the team that thrashed England and made the last four in South Africa and Hodgson has been impressed with the 53-year-old's work.

"I have got a lot of respect for what Joachim and Jurgen (Klinsmann) started off together and Low has definitely carried that on with a vengeance," Hodgson said.

"Germany have been really moulded in to quite a force in world football since the 2006 World Cup."

But just as the love-in between the two looked set to descend into heavy petting, Hodgson concluded with a reminder that there was a game in hand - and no ordinary one either.

"One has to take one's hat off to what they have achieved, but on Tuesday night we will be doing our level best to send them home empty-handed," the England boss said.

Although 85,000 tickets have been sold, it is fair to say that this match has not grabbed the public's imagination as much as the 2010 World Cup match or the 5-1 thrashing in Munich 12 years ago.

There is nothing on the line but pride in this fixture, of course, and both managers are keen to experiment having seen their options reduced by injuries.

Hodgson thinks, therefore, that another defeat would not have any serious psychological damage on his men ahead of the World Cup.

"Well, it won't stop us winning our first game of the World Cup, will it?" Hodgson said when quizzed about the potential effect of losing back-to-back home games for the first time since they were defeated by Wales and Scotland in the Home Championship in 1977.

"Well then these two games don't feature in the same category as those (in 1977).

"If they had done I certainly wouldn't have selected the team I did against Chile and I certainly wouldn't be selecting the team I am against Germany.

"I don't think psychologically it would have any effect in six or seven months' time."

Hodgson broke with tradition by opening the doors to the whole of England's training session at London Colney.

As a result, the team for Tuesday's game became clear. Hodgson confirmed that Ashley Cole, Kyle Walker, Phil Jagielka and Chris Smalling will start in front of Joe Hart.

Adam Lallana, Steven Gerrard, Tom Cleverley and Andros Townsend make up the midfield while Wayne Rooney starts just behind lone striker Daniel Sturridge.

Sturridge has been carrying a thigh injury for the last few weeks and he could not complete a full training session.

The England manager has no worries about selecting the in-form Liverpool striker, though.

"I have to say (the injury) has not been a great problem (when he has played) for Liverpool," the former Fulham manager added.

"The doctors tell me he's fit enough to play.

"He won't play 90 minutes - not because I don't think he's capable of playing 90 minutes - but because I want to have a look at Rickie Lambert as well."



comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update