'What are dark ages?' asks Roy Hodgson as he defends his tactics from Gary Lineker criticism

Coach surprised by criticism and says 'all that was missing against Ireland was second goal'

Roy Hodgson has rejected Gary Lineker's claim that England's tactics against the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday night were a "step back to the dark ages" for their adherence to what looked like a 4-4-2 system.

The England manager has resolutely refused to be drawn on what system he favours, claiming that he works to the principle that needs his best players on the pitch. Lineker tweeted after the 1-1 draw at Wembley that the performance was a regression after what he regarded as recent improvements.

The former England striker wrote: "Even though results haven't been great, felt tactically England were maturing, but this is a step back to the dark ages of 2 lines of 4". Later he tweeted: "It's not about playing in straight lines, it's about playing between the lines. Depth gives flexibility, passing alternatives, creativity". When Lineker's criticisms were put to Hodgson he said he was surprised. "Did he?" Hodgson said. "Oh well, that's a pity. I thought we played well." Pressed on the specifics of Lineker's criticism, Hodgson said "What is the dark ages?" before a Football Association official interjected to say that the organisation did not wish to get into a tit-for-tat dispute with the broadcaster.

Hodgson also addressed the point made in his earlier post-match press conference that he believed England's 4-4-2 style bore comparisons with that of Borussia Dortmund, the defeated Champions League finalists. He said that the similarity came from his insistence that one of the two strikers dropped deep to support the midfield when England lost the ball, "just like Borussia Dortmund did and did very well in the final. Just like we've done in the past".

He said: "I saw a lot of things that gave me a lot of heart in the performance. If we can continue along those lines, we still have a few players to come back into the team of quality, who can push us forward even more. I didn't go away from the game disappointed with what I saw and I'm certainly not prepared to discuss what systems are modern and what systems aren't. Borussia Dortmund, in the games they played, adopted a very similar way of playing to the one we tried to play.

"I don't know that our system has changed that much throughout. The principles we work on certainly don't change. As far as I'm concerned I thought our attacking play, especially in the second half, was actually quite good. All that was missing was the icing on the cake of a second goal."

Later, he added: "I'm just talking 4-4-2s, actually. I'm not comparing us to any team. I don't think we play like Borussia Dortmund. We play like England. We play to the principles that we work on in the training session.

"As opposed to the last performance [the draw with Montenegro] when I was less satisfied, I went away thinking that the way we attacked, passed the ball and moved, and attempted to get in behind the opponents, was the right way to do it and our defending was very solid.

"We won the ball back very quickly, our players tracked back pretty well and while we played two front players we didn't get outnumbered in midfield at all, we had the numbers in there due to the fact that Wayne Rooney and the others up there tracked back."

The England players flew to Brazil at 2am after the game and arrived this afternoon in Rio de Janeiro.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
Life and Style
fashion
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?