Hodgson has to keep faith with action man Andros Townsend
The phrase ‘if it ain’t broke; don’t fix it’ may well be at the forefront of Roy Hodgson’s mind – although I’m sure the England manager’s version will have a touch more eloquence about it.
Either way, the message is the same; stick with those players who performed so admirably against Montenegro, and definitely give Andros Townsend the licence to thrill once more.
There will be some who think that all the hype and excitement surrounding the Spurs youngster after his performance on Friday might have gone to his head.
Townsend has certainly been the centre of attention over the last few days but judging by what you hear from those who know him best, he’s not the sort to get carried away by his own publicity.
There will be few better judges than Hodgson of Townsend’s response to his new-found fame, and I’m sure he’s been impressed with what he’s seen in training since Friday’s heroics.
I’m also convinced that the England boss will share the view of many, myself included, that Townsend HAS to play against Poland tomorrow. Make hay while the sun shines.
He’s playing with such confidence and the Poles will be wary of his threat having no doubt witnessed the way he put Montenegro defenders to the sword.
Given the suspension to Friday’s right back Kyle Walker, the only change I expect Hodgson to make is to bring in Phil Jones as a replacement. The rest of the side virtually picks itself. Well, almost.
The front three of Welbeck, Sturridge and Rooney have to stay, with Townsend providing further attacking force. Then there’s the midfield two of Gerrard and Lampard.
I have never been one of those cynics who have claimed on so many occasions they cannot play together. Absolute nonsense. And their experience will be vital tomorrow night.
Hodgson, like me, may be tempted to start Wilshere instead of Lampard but will probably err on the side of caution and save the Arsenal genius for a last 30-minute hurrah if needed.
I’m sure Hodgson will get his personnel and his plan right. Then all we need is the final ‘p’ to fall into place....performance. The lads will not let us down.
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