Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has defended England coach Roy Hodgson’s methods after recent criticism of the England coach.
The goalless draw in the World Cup qualifier in Ukraine started a debate about the style and capabilities of the side, with former England captain Gary Lineker condemning the side’s inability to retain possession.
However, Holloway saw the point away from home differently and insisted Hodgson’s predecessor Fabio Capello was viewed as stylish but still could not bring success.
“I am very proud of the lads’ efforts and how Roy managed to come up with that vital point,” said the Palace manager. “We need two home wins now and we’re qualified. I think that’s fantastic. I remember two or three years ago everybody was hailing this wonderful coach we’ve got from Italy, who was given coach of the year for getting qualified for something in style. All of a sudden, that went wrong.”
Lineker insists he has no intention of watering down his opinions when it comes to the national team even if Hodgson was taken aback by it.
“I am surprised that anyone who has played for England, captained England and played in games of this nature can be that critical,” said the England boss.
“If you are prepared to seriously stand there and say the England team I am coaching can’t keep the ball and play out from the back or play through the midfield there is no point having a conversation because we just totally disagree.”
Lineker has pledged to continue being forthright in his views, however. “I will continue to give my honest opinions about football,” he wrote on Twitter. “I believe I’m entitled to. As are we all. You can agree or disagree. All good.”
Premier League managers also debated the England situation with Everton’s Roberto Martinez saying he believes any judgement should be reserved until after the qualifying campaign.
“There has been a lot of talk about this. In any qualifying group, assessing how the team has played comes at the end of that period,” said the Spaniard, who has gained a reputation for flowing, possession football during his time in the United Kingdom with Swansea, Wigan and now the Toffeemen.
“Everyone wants to qualify. England have two home games now. It could be the point [in Ukraine] that allows England to qualify at the top of the group.
“We should be a bit more calm about assessing the performance of the team.”
Martinez’s Norwich counterpart Chris Hughton was of a similar opinion. He said: “It was a good result if you are going away to Ukraine, a very difficult place to go.”