Roy Hodgson's Secret England World Cup Messages Revealed by Honduras Flip Chart

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 08: Roy Hodgson, manager of England smiles with Joe Hart of England as he takes part in a recovery session at the Golden Tulip Hotel on June 8, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Roy Hodgson's post-match messages to his players have been revealed by a photograph of a flip chart inside the England dressing room after Saturday's 0-0 draw with Honduras.

The list of points—designed to keep players on-message in the post-match interviews—includes reaction to the Honduras game as well as the positive message: "We are ready for Italy."

Furthermore, it is made quite clear that no England player should cause any political disturbance by commenting on the banner held up by the Argentina team before their warm-up game with Slovenia concerning the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

As reported by Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail, scrawled at the bottom of the chart was the message: "Don't answer questions on Falklands." 

The main focus of the briefing was to put across a positive message as Leighton Baines, Jordan Henderson, Joe Hart and Phil Jagielka were nominated to speak to the press after the interrupted goalless draw.

England's Flipchart Pointers
1Could have been better in our use of the ball
2No inuries
3Had best chances
4Delighted with workout
5We may face this in Brazil
6We showed cool temperament
7We are ready for Italy!!! Don't talk Italy
8Look forward to getting to base in Rio/real thing
9Don't answer questions on Falklands!!!
Daily Mail

Bad weather in Miami delayed the Honduras game for over 40 minutes, but an absence of injuries and a decent workout were marked as positives to be taken away from the encounter.

The chart was put together by various FA officials and approved by Hodgson after the manager had given the players their tactical debrief after the game, reports Ashton.

Some negative points were included on the chart, specifically that England needed to use the ball better than they did against Honduras.

England had 67 per cent of the possession on Saturday, and while they manufactured 16 attempts at goal, only three of them were on target, per BBC Sport.

They will need to be much more clinical than that when they face Italy in their opening group game in Brazil on Saturday. 

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JUNE 07:  Daniel Sturridge of England sustains a heavy tackle during the International Friendly match between England and Honduras at the Sun Life Stadium on June 7, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Im
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

However, after three warm-up games that also included a draw with Ecuador and victory over Peru, Hodgson is happy with the position his squad is in, per Phil McNulty of BBC Sport:

"We have been on the front foot in all of the games so far," he said. "Maybe Italy will make it harder for us but we don't know what a back foot looks like."

Further instructions to the England team included not talking about Italy as well as a reminder that now the warm-up games were over, Brazil constituted the "real thing."

While the Honduras performance was not particularly inspiring, it seems that there has been a great deal of positivity taken away from it, and the England team seem genuinely prepared for the challenges ahead.

With Uruguay and Costa Rica to face in their group as well as Italy, England have a tough task to make it to the knockout stages.

But the team seem unified in their goals and well prepared for what will be a difficult campaign. All that remains now is for them to stay in shape ahead of England's crucial opener on Saturday.