Roy Hodgson criticises Tom Cleverley England World Cup petition
Hodgson unhappy that 10,000 people have signed online petition calling for Manchester United midfielder to be left off the plane to Brazil
March 5th, 2014
Tom Cleverley is not enjoying a great season with Manchester United and it has led a small section of England supporters to sign an online petition calling for the midfielder to be dropped from the squad before Roy Hodgson announces his final 23 players.
Cleverley has become the scapegoat for United’s poor season despite featuring heavily during last season’s Premier League title procession, while the player has also represented England on thirteen separate occasions.
However, the petition accuses Cleverley of “inept” displays and calls for the United player to be banned from selection when it comes to the World Cup squad, much to the chagrin of Hodgson who refused to be drawn on whether the 24-year-old will feature in the final reckoning.
“It doesn’t impress me. He deserves to be in this 30-man group. He’s done an awful lot of good.
“I don’t think it is correct people should single out one player for Manchester United’s lack of success this season.
“I would like to think that I’m not going to have the England team selected in the future by petitions from various people who are holding it against one person for a team’s lack of success.
“You can’t expect a football coach to have any sympathy with it.”
Cleverley is one of several Manchester United players in the current squad, with Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling all looking to be included, while Danny Welbeck should also be selected for the final 23.
Hodgson added: “Whether he’ll make the 23 or not will of course depend on a lot of things, not least of all how he does in the next couple of months.
“But that doesn’t just apply to Tom Cleverley, that applies to a good many players. I’m disappointed that Tom, as a sensitive young man, has got to bear that burden.
“But I know one thing – he will come through it and when he does come through it and Manchester United start winning again and he’s starting to get praise for his performances, he’ll be stronger for it.”