Roy Hodgson Facing Career Defining Week As England Managerby Sean Raymond / 11 October 2013, 11:49Tweet
England go into their final two World Cup qualifiers knowing that only six points are likely to be enough to secure their automatic path to the World Cup. It has been a solid campaign so far for Roy Hodgson and his men but they have hardly set the world alight against teams they are expected to defeat. It is a massive few days in the career of Hodgson with a tournament in Brazil as a big as it gets when it comes to International football.
So far Hodgson has divided the fans with some pointing to the fact that England remain unbeaten and some pointing to the un-inspiring performances from the team. The Manager and players were roundly criticised for their performance in drawing 0-0 in Ukraine last month but in truth that point was enough to leave qualification in their own hands. They play Montenegro on Friday night before Poland on Tuesday with both games at Wembley Stadium expected to be a sell-out.
Home advantage should play into the hands of Hodgson but there are sure to be some nerves amongst the players as they walk out against Montenegro. England have drawn their past three encounters with the Montenegrins and the same result on Friday night would leave Hodgson staring a play-off place in the face. Hodgson will however have been boosted by the fitness of Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge with the in-form strikers set to form a potentially lethal partnership.
Failure to qualify for the World Cup would almost certainly see Roy Hodgson lose his job given the quality of the opposition in the Group. While Montenegro and Poland are decent sides in their own right, England are expected to beat them which does put the pressure on the Manager.
There is no doubt that the players seem to like Roy Hodgson as a coach and a man but that will mean little if England put on another limp performance on Friday night. Hodgson has been criticised for his defensive style during his time in charge but with two wins needed, goals are certainly the order of the day this time around. In truth the next few days are likely to define the tenure of Hodgson with qualification to the biggest World Cup in recent years well and truly on the line.