Hodgson hungry for Finnish drama

So says Uefa.com. Having been to see Teuvo Tulio’s The Cross of Love last night, I’m not nearly as ravenous as Croydon Roy. A little peckish, perhaps, but qualification for the European Championships would be a very unFinnish drama, and if Tulio’s work is anything to go by, all the better for that.

Roy says that “we will try to defend well and score when we have a chance. I know this sounds dull but that’s the best answer I have.” That’s a bit timid really, he’s been feistier than that when challenged about his boring tactics before. There is absolutely no point in debating it, because if there is one match for which game plan Hodgson is perfectly suited, it’s this one.

HBL reckons both Heikkinen and Värynen will start, with Värynen playing off Forsell in an advanced position. Hmmm. I’d rather see Shefki beating the crap out of Alves and Meira for 60 minutes, before Litmanen comes on to torment them, but I guess relying on Jari is out. That’s a good thing, in my book – he will play, but he will fit into the team rather than have the team arranged around him.

And if the HBL graphic is correct (I’ve been at university all day and have read no other papers), then it looks like Hodgson is looking to capitalise on any counter attacking opportunities, no matter when they present themselves. Mikael Forsell is not the type of player you expect to hold onto the ball while the defence has a breather.

I’m off to the pub, anyway. I’m curious as to how many people will be there, given the low crowd on Saturday. Finnish people don’t really believe they will qualify, but if they do I think it will be a decent party. Much like Lordi winning the Eurovision Song Contest, Finns are quite content to ignore something and pretent it doesn’t matter, until there is a Finnish success. At that point they go mental, and those that brought success are transformed into national heroes. Sami Hyypiä and Jari Litmanen, bidding for equal status with Lordi…..

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