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England - The Roaring Lions

My new story which will see Roy Hodgson hopefully guide England to World Cup Success
Started on 27 March 2014 by Josh_MU
Latest Reply on 18 July 2014 by Josh_MU
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Another beast update, Great win too
Wow!! Great win - do you think you can go all the way? (Great update!)
@Bantams - Thanks for your comment! :) Glad your enjoying the story.
@EdenHazard - Thanks! Yeah, it was a great win.
@LFC - Thanks mate! I think we're in with a shout but with the teams left it'll be very tricky.
Robbie Savage on England: How Hodgson masterminded a well deserved win.


How on earth did Roy Hodgson get his England team to beat an in-form Holland side? I'll be analysing the key aspects to England's deserved victory.

Hodgson's England side are currently unbeaten throughout the whole of the World Cup so far.

Roy Hodgson's tactical masterclass secured England the win which allows them to progress into the quarter finals of the World Cup at the expense of Holland, but the question everyone is asking is 'How did Hodgson do it?', well your about to find out.

Wayne Rooney's work-rate.


England would have been overrun in their final third if it wasn't for Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney tracking back and helping out his midfield.
Rooney has introduced this aspect into his game quite recently and it proved to work very well as he helped ease the pressure on his England teammates in midfield.

Rooney's hitmap clearly shows he covered some areas deep in midfield but also pushed up quite a lot to ease the Holland presure.

Rooney put in as many tackles as Holland's Ron Vlaar and proved to be a valuable asset for England's victory and helped put in a huge shift to secure England the win after they took the lead.
Rooney has covered the most distance than any other player in the tournament and is highly praised for his work-rate which proved to be one of the main deciding factors of the game.

High Pressing


One big factor that really helped England in this game was their ability to press Holland whenever they had possession. Wayne Rooney was always pressuring the man on the ball and England's wide men really put in a shift to try and pressurise any Dutch player who had possession of the ball which lead to mistakes and gave England many chances going forward.

I'd like to really highlight Phil Jones in this game because he put in a really big shift pressing the man on the ball and going forward when England attacked. The centre back who has played in midfield for Hodgson on numerous occasions put a balance between going forward and aiding his team mates or sitting back tight and defending his defence, he was for me, one of England's most influential players on the night.

England's wide men, as I mentioned earlier, also did a great job at protecting their full-backs and trying to regain possession to start a quick and sharp counter attack, Adam Lallana protected Kyle Walker well and won most of his challenges which protected the right side of England's defence very well.

Phil Jones made the most interceptions of the night and stopped Holland's pacey players very well.

Keeping it tight


After Gary Cahill nicked a goal for England, Hodgson immediately changed his tactics and wanted his midfield and defence to always keep it's shape. He also told his wingers to always track their man and as soon as they got the ball drive forward to relieve pressure on the England defence.

Both of England's centre backs were very disciplined at the back and won all of their aerial battles which cut off Holland's attacks again and again, as they could not break down England's defence, and both fullbacks did very well stopping Holland's wingers getting to the byline and delivering the ball to Huntelaar in the box.

Althought Holland had most of the possession, England deserved a round of applause for their exceptional defending as they maintained concentration and didn't let Holland get through them, this tie could have been different if Holland had van Persie and Robben fit, however they still posses some very good players and England did brilliantly to not concede throughout any of the game.

England's centre back pairing of Cahill and Jagielka won all of their aerial battles against Holland tonight.

Relieving pressure


Finally England did a great job at relieving pressure from their back line. Every time a Holland attack broke down England went with pace to try and catch out Holland on the break and try and save enough time for their defence to take a breather and prepare their shape again.

England's front three of Rooney, Lallana and Sturridge worked as a trio and were always trying to break with pace whenever they got the chance, Holland pushed up their full backs so England could cut inside and try to add to Cahill's goal.

Nearing the end of the game, they did very well keeping hold of possession and not giving away needless free-kicks and went towards the corner flag to waste more time and to finally get the victory.


If England play like that against their remaining opponents, we COULD see another 1966 moment again, but that's just me being optimistic.

Another 1966? If England play as a unit it is a big possibility.
Some really awesome updates!
Good work on beating Holland :D
All the best :D
2014-04-11 19:37#168874 AS4 : Some really awesome updates!
Good work on beating Holland :D
All the best :D
Thanks man, your comment means a lot. :)
Really nice update, love the style. Is Van Gaal still in charge of Holland?
2014-04-11 21:17#168890 Nick : Really nice update, love the style. Is Van Gaal still in charge of Holland?
Thanks Nick! Nope, after the World Cup he got sacked due to under-achieving, guess I've saved Spurs now by getting him sacked xD


England draw Colombia in World Cup Quarter Finals



Roy Hodgson's England side will have to face Radamel Falcao's Colombia in the World Cup Quarter Finals.

Hodgson will have to prepare his side for one of their biggest tests yet in the World Cup, facing goal-friendly Colombia who have been in exceptional form throughout the whole of the competition, and look heavy favourites to beat England in the Quarter Finals.

Hodgson, however, will be boosted by the fact that England and Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard is available again after recently pulling out the round of 16 against Holland with fitness issues, which he now has recovered from and looks set to start against Colombia.

Colombia are favourites to win the World Cup according to Sky Bet after their recent form throughout the competition, and Monaco's forward Rademel Falcao recently spoke to Colombian TV saying the following about the World Cup draw:

"Inglaterra ha sido muy buena durante toda la competición y vamos a tener que realizar en nuestro mejor esfuerzo para ganarles. Nosotros hemos estado en gran forma y yo vemos a nuestro ellas contraproducente si el equipo juega al mejor de su capacidad."

"England have been very good throughout the whole of the competition and we will have to perform to our best to beat them. We've been in great form and I see us defeating them if the team plays to the best of their ability."
You can win that one easily! Falcao is overrated ;) I do think you should go through here, and good luck! Great update :D
THANK YOU!


I've reached another landmark today with 100 replies! Thank you to everyone who has commented, I hope your enjoying the story as much as I am writing it!


Tense shoot-out allows England to progress



Steven Gerrard scored the winning penalty as England progressed into the semi-finals after drawing 1-1 with Colombia but beating them on penalties.

England were on a high after beating Holland in the last round but were given the news that they will be playing an in-form Colombia side who have scored the most goals in the whole competition.

Pre-match, Colombia's Rademel Falcao spoke to the media about this tie and said that even though England are currently on a high they will be brought down back to earth when they play against Colombia.

England XI vs Colombia

(4-3-3)Hart; Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Gerrard(c), Wilshere, Henderson; Chamberlain, Lallana, Rooney.

Subs: Ruddy, Shaw, Carrick, Sturridge, Caulker, Barkley, Welbeck, Jones, Sterling, Rodriguez, Clyne, Foster.


Colombia XI vs England

(4-2-3-1)Ospina; Cuadrado, Zapata, Mosquera(c), Armero; Schmiedebach, Soto; Aguilar, Rodriguez, Ramos, Martinez.

Subs: Vargas, Ferreira, Zuniga, Falcao, Franco, Angulo, Murillo, Muriel, Balanta, Mondragon.


Hodgson was able to recall Steven Gerrard after missing out on the game against Holland with fitness issues, whereas Colombia's Rademel Falcao dropped to the bench after being replaced with Porto's Jackson Martinez.


England kicked off and straight away tried to nick an early goal as Chamberlain sprinted down the wing and Wayne Rooney was able to pick him out with a long ball which Chamberlain controlled excellently but he couldn't get a shot away as Armero slid in and regained possession for Colombia.

Colombia then went on the attack as they put in a neat passing display where the centre man was midfielder Soto, who kept their move alive as he chipped the ball towards the win where Ramos was, and the makeshift winger did some neat play against Kyle Walker, drove himself into the England box but was stopped by an excellent Gary Cahill challenge to keep the game score less.

Colombia kept piling the pressure on England with Soto again the main man in this move as he drove forward, skipped past Gerrard's lazy challenge and found Martinez, who was able to bully his way through Jagielka and forced a splendid save out of Manchester City's Joe Hart, who forced a corner. The corner was taken by Rodriguez which found the head of Zapata but he failed to divert the ball towards the bottom corner and Joe Hart was able to catch the ball and relieve pressure on his defence.

Nuisance: Ramos(above) completed 12 successful dribbles past his man, Kyle Walker, throughout the whole of the game.

England stole the ball off Colombia as they were attacking and drove up the pitch quickly with Henderson in possession of the ball, he made his mind up quickly and found Wayne Rooney advancing to his right, who was able to turn past his man and curl a delightful shot past Ospina to make it 1-0 England, in which the England players went ecstatic and celebrated with Rooney.

Colombia then were able to respond as Soto found Martinez who was 30 yards from goal, the big Porto forward then turned and ran at the England defence, Cahill put in an excellent challenge but the ball deflected off Martinez into the feet of Ramos, who was able to beat Kyle Walker and go one-on-one with Joe Hart, who was able to make contact with the ball but failed to keep it out to make it 1-1.

England then became hard to break down and the first half finished at 1-1, with Colombia looking the most likely to get the next goal and put lots of pressure on England.


The second half began with Colombia kicking off and trying to break into the England defence with Rodriguez doing some excellent work in the final third but he failed to find Martinez who was in an advanced position and the move broke down as Jagielka picked up possession again and slowed down play.

Steven Gerrard was able to keep hold of possession and find his Liverpool team mate Jordan Henderson in the middle, who has been impressive this tournament. The young Liverpool midfielder went on a delightful run, skipping past at least 2 challenges from the Colombian midfield and took on a dipping shot which had Ospina worried but the Colombian number one was able to make contact with the ball and divert it out towards his defebce.

Colombia kept trying to put England of the back foot but every time they gained possession, England bolstered their midfield with the forward men dropping back and made it increasingly hard for the Colombians to find an area to work the ball through and pose a threat on Joe Hart's goal, but Gerrard was again an important figure in England's midfield and regained possession.

Involved: Steven Gerrard(above) had the most touches out of any player on the whole pitch, 87.

Time was ticking and the game was drawing to a close with England under siege at the back with Colombia trying everything to sneak a goal in and win the tie but Gary Cahill saved England from losing as he cleared the ball off the line from a Martinez volley which look destined for the bottom corner, but Cahill smashed the ball clear and took the game into extra time.


England kicked off the first half of extra time and trying to hold up possession for as long as possible and try and carve open a space in the Colombian midfield to find an area to advance into, with Jack Wilshere expertly playing a one-two with Chamberlain on the right but got tackled at the vital moment to keep the game level.

Colombia kept trying to get a goal but every time they were in England's final third they struggled to make an opening and were forced to play it around the back and allowed England to press forward and keep their shape.

No team could make the breakthrough and the first half of extra time finished level at 1-1 and the pressure was on both teams to keep it tight and try and score a goal to win the tie.


Colombian kicked off the second half of extra time and tried to up the tempo and score a goal early in the second half of extra time but failed to even get past the first man in England's midfield and kept the score at 1-1.

England kept it tight at the back and tried to hold off each wave of Colombian attacks and started to frustrate their opponents, forcing them into long shots which wasted yet more time for Colombia to score.

The rest of the half carried on in the same way, with Martinez coming really close to winning the game after a Rodriguez pass but he failed to put the ball into the back of the net, firing just wide of the near post.

The referee then blew his whistle and the tie went to penalties...


Falcao stepped up first for Colombia, with Joe Hart jumping up and down rattling the crossbar...

Colombia 1 - 0 England

Baines then walked over the take his penalty for England, Ospina moved left and right on his line...

Colombia 1 - 1 England

Ramos stepped up, looking confident...

Colombia 2 - 1 England

Wilshere took the long walk up to the spot and placed the ball down...

Colombia 2 - 2 England

Mosquera walked up looking rather nervous...

Colombia 3 - 2 England

Jagielka then walked up surprisingly before Rooney, he placed down the ball...

Colombia 3 - 3 England

Soto jogged up towards the spot, he took a long run up...

Colombia 4 - 3 England

Rooney calmly walked up and steadied himself...

Colombia 4 - 4 England

Rodriguez stepped up, he could make this advantage to Colombia...

Colombia 4 - 4 England

Gerrard could win this for England... He takes a long run up....! GERRARD HAS WON IT FOR ENGLAND!

Colombia 4 - 5 England

ENGLAND PROGRESS TO THE SEMI FINAL!


Roy Hodgson's Post Match Comments:

"I can't believe we've actually won this game, they were all over us for the majority of the match but you have to praise the players for such a good performance. I couldn't watch the penalties, it was so nerve racking but when I saw the reaction from my staff I knew we had won it!"

"I am so proud of the players for this victory and I really do think now we have a big chance of winning this competition, they've done the whole country proud and we can't wait for the semi-finals to start now."
We won a penalty shootout :O
Great update! Harder than I'd expected it to be for you, but you can always rely on Gerrard ;)
2014-04-12 12:32#169000 Barnet_Boyz : We won a penalty shootout :O
I know :o, it was a huge surprise.

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