Roy Hodgson answers questions from England fans sent via Twitter and Facebook
Roy Hodgson has revealed Lionel Messi would be the one player he would include in his England starting XI - if he was allowed to.
@samjames1401: What is going to be done to ensure we have better youth systems than Spain and Germany to make the future brighter for England?
Three Lions manager Hodgson was responding to a question from one of The FA’s millions of followers and fans across our social media platforms.
Ahead of his preparations for England’s first two World Cup qualifying matches with Moldova and Ukraine, he invited fans to put him under the microscope.
Here, TheFA.com showcase the best questions sent to Hodgson last week from our army of supporters on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
One of the main things is going to be to ensure the national team gets more access to the players at the clubs so we get more chance to work with them and to see them, that our scouting and our recruitment is improved so that no one is missed out and players are on to our radar at an early stage.
We’ve now got the perfect environment with that at St. George’s Park
, but we’ve got to work constantly with the clubs and we’re hoping that the new Elite Player Performance Plan and the academies will help move us closer maybe to what Spain have had for a number of years.
@mg13nl: If you were allowed to take one non-English player to the national team, who would it be?
I suppose the obvious answer is Lionel Messi, because he does have the ability to win games off his own bat. It’s a difficult question but if I must give an answer I’ll take Messi.
@FW90: Do you miss managing in the Premier League?
I’ve had a long career as a club manager and I was delighted to have the chance to manage my country and become the national team manager, so it would be foolish of me to say that I miss it. But I still like the Premier League and still envy, sometimes, the coaches who have a game every week, where as I may be watching from the stands.
But I knew that when I took on the job. Sometimes, when you’re snowed under with day-to-day work you look enviously at the national team manager who doesn’t have that. So it’s swings and roundabouts. I enjoyed my time in the Premier League and it’s a fantastic league to work in. If you’re a manager at a club in the Premier League then you’re a lucky person.
@MrManCity: Who's going to win the Premier League?
I think the competition has become much stronger, not least through Man City, adding to the traditional four.
There’s also of course Tottenham, Newcastle from last year, and Everton with the start they’ve had. It’s good for the game that it's not getting any easier to win the Premier League. It’s not becoming a one horse or two horse race as Manchester City showed last year by winning the league for the first time since 1968.
Daniel Winterbourne: Roy, following the recent success of the Olympics and the legacy left, what are you hoping your legacy for the national team will be?
RH: It’s a bit early to think about legacies. It’s a word that is bandied about, a buzz word at the minute. You don’t know what legacies will be left until 10 or 20, even 40 or 50 years after the event. I don’t concern myself with legacy, I concern myself with the pragmatic task of preparing a team to try and win the next game. I’ll let legacies take care of themselves.
Sarah Watson: How important can the fans at Wembley be for England?
RH: They help enormously. We’ve had great support so far. Obviously it’s very early in my time as the England Manager, so I can’t’ relate to the past in any great extent and how managers have felt about the support they have had. But the support we had during the Euros, and not least before the Euros, has been great.
We had almost a full-house to see us play against Belgium at Wembley, that was for me quite phenomenal that almost 90,000 came to see us off. So I’ve been very, very impressed with the support we’ve had and really do hope that people keep coming to the games. There’s no doubt that the feelings you have with a crowd behind you and cheering you on are very important factors for any team.
Scott Hammerton: Do you think the England national team suffers due to so few English players playing in foreign leagues?
RH: There aren’t many Italians playing abroad, there aren’t many Germans playing abroad and not many Spaniards playing abroad, unless it’s in the Premier League. That’s because we have such a powerful league, in terms of the interest in generates and the salaries that players can earn.
So the Premier League is a focal point, not only for English players, but it can also attract the very, very best France, Spain, Germany and Italy have to offer. It’s unlikely that we’re going to get too many really top players choosing to turn their back on the Premier League to go and play abroad. The fact that we have so few shows to some extent how powerful the league has become.
Derek Carter: Have you been able to choose your strongest England starting XI yet, with all players fit and available?
RH: Maybe not, we’ve been certainly hampered by injuries to very important players. We lost Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard, for example, before the Euros, and Wayne Rooney wasn’t available for the first couple of games. In the Italian game I took a conscious decision to leave out one or two of the obvious senior players who I thought would have been important for us during the qualifiers.
But I’ve now lost one of them, Rooney, who didn’t play against Italy, but now he can’t play in the qualifiers because he is injured. I don’t think that as yet I’ve been able to pick an ideal team as there have always been some important players missing.
Henry Sharman: What do you think will be the key to winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil?
RH: The obvious answer would be that we have to play very well, we’ll have to build a team which is able to both attack and defend very well. We’ve got to bring our team up to the level of Spain, who we all talk about at the moment. Before that it was France, we’ve got to build out team up to that level.
We’ve got to find players who are regarded by all and sundry as world class players, then they’ve got to be able to perform when the pressure is on. When you go to a World Cup or a European Championship, the pressure is on you, the eyes of the world are on you and you’ve got to be able to perform then.
It’s like the actor who is fantastic in rehearsals will never become a great actor until he can step out onto the stage in front of a live audience. There are, unfortunately, no ways to cover up mistakes.
Remember, tickets are still on sale for the Ukraine game at Wembley on Tuesday 11 September. Click here for more details