Experts suggest Hodgson's downfall if England fail against Costa Rica

Experts suggest Hodgson's downfall if England fail against Costa Rica
Hodgson: The clock is ticking for the England manager, who is likely to be given the boot if his team go down to their third defeat in a row.

BELO HORIZONTE - Roy Hodgson is already planning for the Euro 2015 qualification campaign, but he might be getting ahead of himself.

The World Cup is over only for England. The manager's tournament is ongoing. He is still being tried in the fickle court of public opinion.

His enthusiasm remains undimmed but the natives are restless. Men in red-and-white painted faces are not yet storming the gates of the English Football Association, but support is waning.

His contract comes with a caveat. Lose against Costa Rica and the knives will reluctantly come out.

"I think the Costa Rican game is an important one for Roy, I really do," said former Aston Villa and Republic of Ireland midfielder Andy Townsend, who played in two World Cups.

"I don't agree with change for change's sake. But, as the manager of the national team, if they were to lose three in a row, then I think it becomes extremely difficult for Roy."

The TV pundit shook his head ruefully at the thought of three historic defeats at a World Cup - two opening losses make it England's worst appearance at the tournament in 60 years.

But if they came on the back of the utterly abject Euro 2012 campaign, even Greg Dyke may not be able to hold back the tide if it turns against Hodgson.

Perhaps unwisely, English FA chairman Dyke assured Hodgson of his job security before a ball had been kicked and a pass misplaced in Brazil.

But the savvy PR operator would be equally aware of the futility of persisting with a manager when the public mood has soured.

Patience is rarely prioritised among England supporters. Expectations were low before Brazil, but that doesn't mean they were. Defeats are just about tolerated, but not a loss of dignity.

BBC's Mihir Bose has chronicled the sharp vicissitudes of the England manager's fortunes for the last six World Cups. The acclaimed football author acknowledged an outdated, but stubbornly persistent, psychological trait that might yet take down Hodgson.

Despite protestations to the contrary, England still secretly expect. They gave organised football and its most popular domestic league to the world. They do not appreciate international humiliation in return.

"There remains a huge psychological angst in England towards their game," said the affable author of 26 books.

"They haven't hosted the World Cup since 1966. They haven't won it since 1966. And there is this idea in England in football that is less common in cricket or rugby; this feeling that this is ours. How dare Johnny Foreigner come in and take it away from us.

"No matter how much people may publically protest otherwise, that feeling is still there in the British press and among the fans.

No Patience

"They've created this Premier League product and it's wonderful. So now they think they've got the William Shakespeare of football.

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