Team GB get off to a mixed start at the London Olympics and although the football is a bit of a sideshow to the other events, to teams like Brazil it’s not only a vital warm up to their home World Cup, but a frustration as Olympic gold is the only major title they’ve yet to win.
Let’s take a brief look at the England games for the rest of 2012.
The rest of the England fixture this year starts, as it finished in Euro 2012 with a game against Italy in the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf, Berne in Switzerland.
Needless to say it isn’t a very popular fixture with league managers, just 3 days before the start of the domestic season, who no doubt will be watching their players going through the motions in Berne with gritted teeth.
Hodgson has stated that he will use the friendly in Berne to look at some of the players that did not take part in the Euro games.
Players that spring to mind include; Jack Wilshere, Kyle Walker and Tom Cleverley as well as Daniel Sturridge, Ross Barkley and Jack Rodwell.
Then the road to Brazil begins and England play Moldova on September 7th and then Ukraine on the 11th. San Marino and Poland follow in October.
Brazil will no doubt be one big party, like a session on partycasino.com, but nothing can be taken for granted in reaching the World Cup. England need to improve and deliver where it matters.
There are certainly lessons to be learned from the European championships; wasting possession and counter-attacking opportunities perhaps a core reason England struggled in that last game, although not many will deny the hard work most players put in. Technical players like Lampard and Barry were also certainly missed but improving the quality in the team is now high on Hodgson’s list.