A pathetic yet fitting end to four years of Roy Hodgson; a man out of time and a reign bereft of moments to savour

Frank Dalleres
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Hodgson's England led for a combined total of just 85 minutes during 11 games at major tournaments (Source: Getty)

Elimination from Euro 2016 by Iceland was a pathetic yet suitable end to an underwhelming four years of Roy Hodgson characterised by meaningless wins and repeated failures when it really mattered.

History may not be kind to Hodgson, whose appointment was greeted with a combination of surprise and unkind mockery which gave way to a consensus that he was a decent but limited coach.

So difficult is it to recall highlights from his spell in charge that it is tempting to ask: was any of it enjoyable? Certainly his final match and tournament had little to savour.

Read more: Why Hodgson departure leaves FA with difficulty choice

Qualifying campaigns, though navigated with expertise by Hodgson, are joyless exercises that for the bigger teams contain only pitfalls. The 2014 World Cup was, by any objective measure, a gross failure, with fleeting moments of promise in games against Italy and Uruguay, in the cold light of day, no more than that.

There was some excitement in a 3-2 win over Sweden at Euro 2012, though England might equally have lost and needed a 20-yard volley from noted long-distance specialist Theo Walcott and a route-one Andy Carroll header to salvage that game.

Hodgson’s England have led for a total of 85 minutes of his 11 games at major tournaments. The unavoidable conclusion is that they have never remotely convinced. Even when they have controlled possession, as they now seem able to do, they have lacked cutting edge.

Indeed just as he and they have adopted a more continental style, that approach has lost traction to the kind of defence-first tactics on which he built a career and that propelled Leicester - and Iceland - to glory.

Hodgson – seemingly a good man but, with his verbose deliveries, noted fondness for literature and awkward touchline manner, a man seemingly out of time – may one day reflect on that irony.

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