Hodgson Pleased With Ecuador Positives
Despite the negative being our inability to hold on for victory and the injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, manager Roy Hodgson was clearly delighted with the positives the team showed and clearly his plan for our preparations for the World Cup are progressing nicely.
Of course we'd have all preferred a better result, but it was a decent performance from the side, and the youngsters drafted in certainly didn't do themselves any harm really, with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley for me standing out.
Shaw looked reasonably composed for the most part, and even James Milner was solid enough in the very unfamiliar right back role. The biggest disappointment on the night was probably the sending off of Raheem Sterling as just when he seemed to be finding his feet, common sense went out the window and he ended up with an extremely harsh, and undeserved red card. Stupid and yellow card definitely, but not red.
Speaking to theFA.com following the game, Hodgson was unconcerned by the scoreline and probably won't have allowed himself to be distracted by some of the less favourable press coverage following the game shall we say, as he said.
'This is what this game was about, it was a very young line up and there was almost a complete 11 players rested from the previous match. I thought we acquitted ourselves quite brilliantly and played some very good football at times. (Sterling's red) was harsh. It was a rash tackle but I thought Raheem was unlucky because of the way Valencia reacted like he did.'
No two ways about it, Valencia got them both sent off, when the reality is only he should've seen red for his petulant reaction. Maybe he thought Sterling had 'gone' for him if we are looking for a defence, but still no excuses to react like that for me. The referee was weak and took the easy option to diffuse it completely by sending them both off, but given red cards won't affect the upcoming games, that's a weak response to what is supposed to be a punishment for an offender.
With that said, Hodgson goes on to say though that Sterling is still young and sometimes in the Premiership a tackle like that won't even see a yellow card, but on an international stage with referee's who do operate differently from what we expect at points, it's something for him to learn from and learn not to go in like that when there is absolutely no reason to.
The gaffer also had praise for our experienced duo of Wayne Rooney and skipper Frank Lampard for their efforts in helping the youngsters along, especially as Rooney was on a more left sided position, and he thinks he adjusted to that quite well.
'They helped see us through what, in my opinion, is quite a well merited and prestigious draw against a strong Ecuador team.'
The game certainly won't have done us any real harm, and is probably more useful for a variety of reasons than the Peru victory given how Ecuador did pose a test for the newer elements to the team, and that can only help them when called upon in the future.
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