I like Roy Hodgson as a manager. The last few England managers have bought into this nonsense about England having the best players in the whole world and therefore being able to take on anybody as equals. Watching England at the 2010 World Cup against Germany pretending that John Terry and Matthew Upson (!) were world class defenders capable of playing a high line against the second best team in the world was utterly embarrassing. It's nice to see an England manager actually accept that his pool of players is full of crap and to therefore approach games as such. People complain about the game against Italy, but they put out a wonderfully disciplined defensive shape that restricted the eventual winners to zero chances of note.
I'm not sure about the actual defence. Terry is massively overrated and way over the hill. I admit that my view of him is somewhat skewed by his hardman image (gained largely by shouting a lot) not reflected the way he plays on the pitch at all - I've seen him mauled about the pitch by a bloke who signed for Stoke on a free transfer from Gillingham, I've seen him struggle with said player so much that he performed an outrageous dive in order to try to get him sent off and I've seen him behave in the most unpleasant manner almost every time I've seen him play in person. Cahill is, by and large, a joke of a defender who gets by because he's 'technically skilled'. That's the modern day slang for 'passes the ball five yards but can't defend to save his life'. You can rank Phil jones in that category too. Chris Smalling is very middling as a defender. Ferdinand is unreliable and past it. It's not a particularly pretty selection. I'm aware that I'm very open to accusations of bias, but the very best English defender that I've seen in the last few years is Ryan Shawcross. Consistently high levels of performance over 5 seasons now. It's no mean feat being made the captain of a Premier League club at the age of 22, either. The media have now completely discounted him partly because he's a touch unfashionable compared to the others, partly because they're fixated with Rio Ferdinand and partly because 30 seconds into his England debut he made an absolute howler to allow Ibrahimovic to score. He came on in that game as a substitute on something like the 70th minute. Why Gary Cahill, the senior defender who had been playing the whole game, decided that the new guy who was yet to get started in the game should mark one of the best strikers in the world while Cahill himself goes wandering off in midfield, I'll never know. Grumble.