So there you go. After what feels like a life time waiting for the FA to announce that Harry Redknapp will be the new England manager, they go and appoint Roy Hodgson.
Confused? Surprised? Baffled? Yes me too. Waiting for the punchline? Yes, me too.
You see whilst some had mentioned Hodgson as a potential candidate, most viewed him as a fall back should, for whatever reason, Redknapp knock the job back. We now learn from the FA that Hodgson was the first and only manager they approached about the role.
Which in itself is a strange decision. Why not sound out all possible candidates and make your decision from there?
Whilst many today are celebrating the appointment and giving old Roy a collective pat on the back, the reality is that the majority of the nation feels overwhelmingly….well....underwhelmed.
Competent and steady for sure, Roy Hodgson could never be described as the “sexy” appointment English football needed. Because that was what we needed after the rigidity of Capello.
Now whilst you don’t normally read the words “Harry Redknapp” and “Sexy” in the same paragraph, you can’t help but feel that in footballing terms, there’d be more to get excited about.
I’ve previously suggested here why the fuss surrounding Harry Redknapp was perhaps a little unfounded but he was still THE outstanding candidate for the job.
The ignoring of Redknapp is as confusing as it is surprising. Redknapp was the choice of the fans, the players and the majority of the media and a move away from that is a real risk.
So why have they? Why have they placed further pressure on an already pressurised position? In my opinion, it’s one of two things. Either the recent court case and allegations have left some in the halls of the FA feeling a little uncomfortable with the appointment, or he was simply going to cost too much.
The difference between what Hodgson will be getting in wages and what Redknapp would have demanded is probably negligible. The difference, however, in compensation packages to the respective clubs, was probably vast.
And that may very well be where the issue is. The appointment of Capello was ultimately an unsuccessful one and unfortunately, it was an expensive lesson learnt. The FA weren’t willing to make that kind of mistake again and the finances behind the appointment may very well have been at the forefront of their minds.
Hodgson is safe. Quite the blazer and slacks kind of guy the FA like. More likely to knock a glass eye to sleep than say anything remotely controversial (or interesting)
But that doesn’t mean it is right.
The appointment of Hodgson for England is very reminiscent of his appointment at Liverpool. I fear we may have the same outcome.
Prior to Hodgson taking over at Anfield, Kenny Dalglish had already signalled his interest in becoming manager again but was overlooked by Hicks and Gillett. Dalglish accepted the decision and took his seat in the stands. Never mind the battles at boardroom level or the inability to get the best out of the players at his disposal, Hodgson’s biggest battle was perhaps with the man with legendary status, who was watching his every move from up above.
A constant reminder of what might have been.
It was a presence he couldn’t compete with and the battle was eventually lost.
This isn’t that much different. For Liverpool, read England. For Dalglish, read Redknapp.
You’d better believe that the minute something goes wrong – and inevitably it will with England – the clamber for the man-who-should-have-been-manager will be immense.
Hodgson looked like a rabbit in the headlights at Anfield. Unable to cope with the weight of expectation and sheer personality of the man who was the fans first choice.
Difficult to imagine his role at England will be much different. If he thought Merseyside was a pressure cooker…..
But we’re stuck with him now and whilst I’ll back him, I’d be lying if I said I was excited about the decision. The optimism that gripped us all when Capello finally packed his bags and buggered off has now been replaced with a feeling of “same shit-different day”.
It’s not Hodgson’s fault. He seems a nice enough sort of bloke but that shouldn’t be in the job description of an England Manager. I don’t care if the England manager is an absolute tyrant as long as he goes to a major tournament and brings a trophy home.
I may be wrong but I just can’t see Hodgson doing that.
A West Brom fan today called Talksport and said losing Hodgson was like the end of the world. Honestly. He didn’t seem to be laughing either. But I think that remark says an awful lot more about West Brom than it does about Roy Hodgson.
Yes he’s managed at lots of clubs. Yes he’s managed at international level. But then so has Sven Goran Eriksson and look how that ended up.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe his ability to get the best out of mediocre players will serve him well with England. I hope I’m wrong. But I doubt it.
Watch this space.
Add a Comment