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Swiss rollover: Hodgson during his time in charge of Switzerland, who rose to the heady heights of third in the Fifa rankings under his management
It is well known that England boss Roy Hodgson has enjoyed a peripatetic career in top-level international management, having coached the likes of Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and Finland before taking on the biggest role of his career with the country of his birth last year.
And it is that vital experience gained from coaching in all corners of the globe, which also includes various stints in club management around Europe, that could prove vital come next summer as he attempts to guide England through the choppy waters of the World Cup finals.
However, a quick glance at the Croydon-born coach’s managerial CV will show that not only has Roy been there, done it and got the World Cup T-shirt before, but that when it comes to successfully navigating a team through the pitfalls of a knockout competition, Hodgson also has previous.
With the former, Hodgson guided unfancied Switzerland safely through to the 1994 World Cup in the USA, where they were widely expected to exit before the first knockout round having been drawn in a tough-looking group that contained the likes of Romania, who would go on to make it all the way to the semifinals, the US, with no host nation having ever previously exited the competition at the group stage and one of the pre-tournament favourites, Colombia.
But Hodgson’s Swiss team stunned the watching world by thrashing Romania 4-1 as they finished second in the group, before eventually being eliminated by Spain in the first knockout round.
Not only that, but Hodgson also took Inter Milan all the way to the final of the 1997 Uefa Cup, a trick he then repeated by guiding minnows Fulham through to the 2010 Europa League (via BBC Sport), the.first major European final in the club's history.
So, underestimating Hodgson’s ability to take an underdog to the final of a cup competition would be foolish given his past track record in this regard, although now he needs to go that one step further in Rio next summer …