Roy Hodgson’s choice of Javier Mascherano tells us what England lack

The England manager’s decision has been derided but Mascherano’s skills are exactly what a team needs if it is to succeed
Arsène Wenger is against the Ballon d’Or

Roy Hodgson was thinking like a coach when he wrote down the name of Javier Mascherano as his No1 pick for this year’s Ballon d’Or. And the many who derided his choice – including former players in the media as well as journalists and fans – are, to sanitise a phrase used in similar circumstances by Sir Alex Ferguson, all idiots.

More specifically, Hodgson was thinking like the man who is paid to coach the England team. So he wasn’t out to lavish his votes on glamour boys such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi, who once again claimed the top two positions. Instead he voted for those who, out of all the players in the world, would make the biggest difference to his own team: Mascherano, followed by Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer.

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