England boss Roy Hodgson has revealed that he doesn’t see Chelsea defender John Terry as a solution to his defensive problems ahead of Euro 2016.
Having conceded four goals in their two international friendlies over the past week, critics have pointed to the defensive weaknesses as a concern ahead of the major tournament in France this summer.
Hodgson has acknowledged it after seeing his side beat Germany 3-2 before losing 2-1 to the Netherlands, but he doesn’t envisage a situation where he will attempt to persuade Terry to return to the international fold.
“Your point that we haven’t got the left-sided one is quite right but there is nothing I can do about that unless suddenly in the next five weeks some brilliant English left-sided centre-back appears on the scene and I don’t anticipate that,” he told reporters, as noted by Sky Sports.
“John Terry who, because he retired so long ago, doesn’t feature in my thinking very often but I can’t deny that is a valid point. He is a left-sided centre-half, although not a left-sided player. He’s a right-footer. He retired four years ago.”
Hodgson went on to defend both Chris Smalling and John Stones as he believes that they will be pivotal to England’s future, and the confirmation that Terry will not be recalled should give that pairing a boost in particular.
Terry’s return after retiring from the international stage in 2012 would not only have been a concession that there is a lack of talent coming through, but it would have been a major blow to the confidence of the likes of Smalling and Stones.
There is no denying that the Chelsea captain continues to prove that he is still one of the top defenders in the Premier League, but England have begun a process of building a young squad and Hodgson must stick with that strategy rather than return to old faces.
Whether or not they can plug those gaps and eradicate mistakes before arriving in France remains to be seen, but they will have to do so without Terry based on Hodgson’s latest comments.