England set to copy Chelsea’s dark arts and stop being so ‘nice’

Roy Hodgson wants his players to be tougher on the pitch ahead of England’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia

England set to copy Chelsea’s dark arts and stop being so ‘nice’

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November 12th, 2014

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England have a 100% record when it comes to Euro 2016 qualification although the memory of the 2014 World Cup still lingers in the memory, with the Three Lions going out of the competition without a win.

Roy Hodgson is determined that the same thing doesn’t happen in France eighteen months down the line, with his coaching team instilling a nastier side to the England team which should make them tougher to beat.

“It’s something we’ve certainly addressed,” Gary Cahill, the England vice-captain, said. “At first it was from the manager. If you see us now we are definitely a lot harder to play against and I’m not just speaking about the top four. That is about being physical, wanting to win the ball back and just being physical. It’s the basics of defending and at the minute we are doing that really well.”

“When players are trying to hold the ball up and you’re behind them and they are thinking ‘What is this guy doing?’ that’s probably when they know they are in a game, rather than letting them turn. We’ve been too nice.”

“It’s a big part of the game to know when to slow things down and not always to play from the back. Everybody has this philosophy of playing from the back but there are times to think: ‘Hold on, let’s not play from the back this time, let’s kick it up to the front for five or 10 minutes.’

“It’s managing the game which maybe we are doing a lot better now. It’s something that has been addressed. In terms of game management there are times in the game to kill it off or slow things down when things aren’t going well. And we will learn that.

“José has been a master of that. It’s a part of play at Chelsea and that’s because there are so many experienced players in the squad. It comes from experience. People know when to do it and when not. That’s something that’s coming into the make-up with England and that’s why we are progressing.”

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