Tuesday, February 19, 2013
ENGLAND COACH, ROY HODGSON WRITES OFF THE CHANCES OF MANCHESTER UNITED AND ARSENAL ADVANCING IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
England manager, Roy Hodgson does not expect another English triumph in the Champions League this year, claiming his favourites for the title come from Spain and Germany.
Hodgson, who was speaking to an Italian newspaper picked Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich as his top tips to lift the European Cup at Wembley in May, dismissing Arsenal and Manchester United’s hopes.
The former Liverpool manager also said he had been impressed by the progress made at Juventus since their return to the top.
The Serie A Champion are virtually into the last eight after winning 3-0 at Celtic in the first leg of their last-16 encounter
However, Hodgson does not rate the chances of Arsenal, who take on Bayern Munich at the Emirates tonight, or Manchester United, runaway Barclays Premier League leaders, who drew 1-1 with Real in Madrid last week.
‘Arsenal and Manchester United have been unlucky with the draw,’ said Hodgson, during a lengthy interview with Gianfelice Facchetti, son of legendary Inter Milan defender Giacinto, who died in seven years ago.
His views are in line with the fear that the Premier League clubs have lost their stranglehold having dominated Europe for a few years.
In 2008, three of the four Champions League semi-finalists were from England but this year, for the second successive season, only two have qualified for the last 16.
Despite this and his acceptance that there is a diminishing pool of homegrown talent in the Premier League, Hodgson told Gazzetta’s Extra Time that he was optimistic about the future for the national team.
‘The win against Brazil was very important,’ said the England boss. ‘I am confident we can improve. We are finding the right balance between the old and new generations.