Germany coach Joachim Low impressed with Roy Hodgson

 

Roy Hodgson has been backed to make England footballing giants again by Germany counterpart Joachim Low.

For the fourth major tournament running, the Germans have reached the semi-final stage, with Low looking to preside over victory against Italy in Warsaw tonight.

By contrast, England have not reached the last four of any tournament since Euro 96 and are once again licking their wounds after exiting at the quarter-final stage.

Low does not have a magic wand. However, after being directly responsible for England's elimination from the last World Cup, he has detected a significant improvement under Hodgson, which he is certain will continue.

"The English were much better in this tournament than in 2010," he said.

"When they played us then, they were a team who had a lot of problems.

"Roy Hodgson has brought order into the side and has done a great job.

"[At Euro 2012] they were a very well organised team.

"England will develop under him in the next few years and, in the next tournament, they'll play a better role than they did here and certainly than they did in 2010."

Low's comments are a slap in the face for Hodgson's predecessor Fabio Capello, who has been making waves of his own this week, hinting Wayne Rooney only performs well for Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

That comment has irritated Hodgson, who accused Capello of a "cheap" trick.

"Capello is entitled to his opinions, I suppose, but I always think it's a bit cheap to kid on a player who was so anxious to do well," he said.

Questions have been asked about Rooney's conduct prior to the tournament, particularly a very public holiday in Las Vegas with former Red Devils team-mate Wes Brown.

Hodgson has already dismissed this - and defended his decision to give Rooney an extra week off in the build-up, which meant he missed the friendly win in Norway.

That move could now be interpreted as a mistake given the forward looked so short of match fitness when he did eventually enter the tournament fray against Ukraine.

Hodgson is having none of it though, and has revealed he stopped Rooney pushing himself too hard at England's Krakow training base when the United man wanted to do additional work.

"His attitude was magnificent," said Hodgson.

"He was putting in extra work because he was concerned he was behind the others having missed the first two games through suspension.

"His desire to do well was enormous and we were trying to put the brakes on.

"In the final game he, along with one or two other players, didn't play to the level he can but that's what football is about.

"If every player was a robot and played at the same level in every game then football would be very simple and we wouldn't need coaches."

 

PA

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