Sunderland star Larsson hails Hodgson impact

Seb Larsson
Seb Larsson
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Seb Larsson has heaped rich praise on England manager Roy Hodgson ahead of the two countries’ Euro 2012 clash on Friday, writes Graeme Anderson.

The Sunderland midfielder says that the vastly-experienced coach, who cut his managerial teeth in Sweden with Halmstads in the 1970s and coached there throughout the 80s, remains a revered footballing figure in the Scandinavian country.

And he believes that current Sweden coach Erik Hamren – a player during the Hodgson era – may well have adopted some of the techniques and tactics that Hodgson helped pioneer.

“I can’t for sure say that Erik Hamren has modelled himself on Roy Hodgson, but it could well be,” said the winger.

“He was such an influence early on that you never know.

“Roy Hodgson set the standard for football in Sweden.

“History-wise, English coaches have had a big influence and you don’t have to look any further than him.

“He was in Sweden for a long time and he set the standard and style that a lot of coaches have tried to copy since.”

Despite England’s proud record of coaching in Sweden, the Three Lions have not fared so well in competition, with their international meetings producing five draws and two England defeats.

And despite Hodgson now being at the helm, Larsson says that the meeting in Kiev this Friday could go either way.

“Hodgson has a very good reputation,” the Sunderland star agreed. “He did well in Sweden and he’s done well since.

“In England, if you have one bad job, that’s how you’re likely to be remembered, but we remember he’s done a bit more than what he’s achieved in English football.

“A lot of people know Roy Hodgson very well from before and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing for us, we’ll have to wait and see.”