Roy Hodgson has revealed he was in 'semi-retirement' in 2007 when Mohamed Al-Fayed persuaded him to forgo the post of 'presidential adviser' to then-Internazionale owner Massimo Moratti and take on the task of keeping Fulham in the Premier League.
Hodgson not only kept Fulham up, he took them to the final of the Europa League. Further posts at Liverpool and West Brom followed before, as he said "here I am eight years later in the biggest job in the country". The England manager, 68 years old but not, he said, "feeling anything like that, added: "That taught me not to make any decisions about my future, I prefer to see what develops."
The same applies to his team. Hodgson said he has names in mind for the European Championships in France next summer, but the vagaries of form and fitness are such they a pencilled in, not inked.
Scotland 1 England 3 player ratings
Scotland 1 England 3 player ratings
1/22 David Marshall
Survived an early fumble from a Danny Welbeck shot but there was little he could do about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's header. 6
2/22 Steven Whittaker
Had a couple of shots blocked following short set-pieces, the right-back got little joy going forward in the second half but was dependable at the back. 6
3/22 Grant Hanley
The Blackburn centre-back's lack of mobility told at times. 5
4/22 Russell Martin
Came close with a header but found it difficult to cope with England's movement up front. 5
5/22 Andrew Robertson
Lost the first goalscorer and inadvertently set up the second but showed his character with an excellent first goal for Scotland. 5
Distribution was not as accurate as his man-of-the-match display on Friday and his misplaced pass and crude block on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ultimately led to England's second goal. 5
7/22 Scott Brown
Withdrawn at half-time after a decent if uninspiring display. 5
8/22 Ikechi Anya
Lifted the home crowd with a couple of early runs but could not make a telling contribution. 6
9/22 Steven Naismith
Was out on his feet at the end of Friday's win over the Republic of Ireland and lacked a spark both up top and just off the front. 6
10/22 Shaun Maloney
Was well off target when given a chance to shoot late in the first half, although from much further out than his goal against the Irish. Otherwise failed to threaten. 5
11/22 Chris Martin
Held the ball up well at times but was unable to make a major impact and rarely had the ball with his face to goal during his 45-minute run-out. 5
12/22 Fraser Forster
The former Celtic goalkeeper's defence allowed him one of his quieter 45 minutes at Parkhead but was exposed for Robertson's goal. 6
13/22 Nathaniel Clyne
The Southampton right back's well-timed tackles and ability to break quickly gave England an edge down his flank. 8
14/22 Luke Shaw
Dealt well with the threat of Shaun Maloney. 6
15/22 Gary Cahill
Came close from an early header and marshalled Martin well in the first half. 7
16/22 Chris Smalling
Totally comfortable in central defence and showed his confidence as the game progressed. 8
17/22 James Milner
A disciplined display in the anchor role. 7
18/22 Jack Wilshere
Floated an inch-perfect cross over the top of the Scotland defence to set up the opener and had a hand in both other goals, the Arsenal midfielder imposed himself on the game. 8
19/22 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Drifted into the goalmouth to head the opener. 6
20/22 Stewart Downing
Showed enterprise and control in central midfield. 7
21/22 Danny Welbeck
Caused some problems going forward in the early stages and put in a power of work to disrupt Scotland further back. 7
22/22 Wayne Rooney
Overtook Jimmy Greaves in the England scoring stakes with his 45 and 46th international goals. The skipper showed hunger and drive as he led from the front. 9
One player whose recent England career illustrates the problems is Daniel Sturridge who has been plagued by muscle injuries since breaking down in training with England at the start of the season. That prompted a public exchange with Brendan Rodgers who, at the time, was under pressure at Anfield after a slow start to Liverpool's campaign.
Hodgson said as far he was concerned that was all in the past and he was looking forward to Sturridge's return. "My relationship with Brendan is the same as it is with every other coach," he said. " I get on well with all the coaches. He said a few things about Daniel's injury, I accepted that, it didn't bother me.
"I've never really had a working relationship with him, I work with the players. Some managers I know better than others, some I speak to, some I don't, I don't have a clear cut policy on that."
"It was unfortunate Daniel got injured when he did and we were sorry about that but he has had a few injuries since. Is that down to England and the way we work? I don't think so.
"Having him back will be great as long as he is playing well, I have a few weeks yet (before naming the squad to play Lithuania and Italy next month) but I have always said Daniel has the talent we are looking for and I am delighted he is not suffering his muscle problems any more.
"If he needs a special programme we will take it into account, the medical team will know if if he does as they are in contact with the Liverpool people and I will know that as I will speak to Daniel when he arrives."Reuse content