“Bwing on the Euwos” mocked another classy headline by The Sun. It would appear that just one day into the job and Roy Hodgson is already facing ridicule from the media before he’s even had the chance to get his brolly out. That being the case, I still don’t understand why the FA have moved to “tell off” the newspaper on their new manager’s behalf. After around fifty years in football I’d be very surprised if Roy hadn’t already experienced a cheeky dig or two regarding his Rs? I largely doubt that he went home that day, drew the curtains and sat in his pants crying into a sock whilst eating Spiderman spaghetti shapes and watching re-runs of Big Break. There’s no point taking the England job if one isn’t thick skinned enough, even when England win the manager and his players are criticised for not winning well enough. The fact that Roy took the West Brom job just weeks after his dismal time at Liverpool came to an end is testament to the fact that he is a strong character. His biggest problem is that he isn’t a particularly outlandish character like Harry Redknapp.
However, the man certainly knows his tactics and is a manager you can bet your house on regarding whether he’s done his research on opponents as thorough as humanly possible. An overused cliché used to describe him is that he is a “football man”, which aside from sounding like a terrifying hybrid between a Mitre ball and a human torso, is surely a given. I mean, we wouldn’t let a hockey man do the job would we? Lot’s of the players openly supported Harry Redknapp and it was clear that they would enjoy playing under him, but anyone who needs to be motivated to play for their country beyond tactics shouldn’t be playing at all.
People cited Harry’s ability to work the media as a massive reason for why he should have been named manager. For me, that in itself says it all. The media should have nothing to do with the England team in Euro 2012 other than broadcasting the games and printing the scores the next day. If anything, Roy needs to impose a media blackout on his team. If England lose or even draw the papers, social media and even websites like this one will be awash with calls for his head and attacks on individual players; something I wouldn’t want to wake up to if I had to prepare for Ukraine away. There have been countless articles published over the last couple of days stoking the flames of the Redknapp/Hodgson debate so I won’t bother going too deeply into what should be a done subject by now. Is it really such a surprising appointment?
Hodgson has overseen eighty international games compared to Redknapp’s zero. I’ve probably given the impression that I carry a picture of Roy Hodgson around in my wallet and tenderly kiss it every morning, far from it. I was firmly in the Redknapp camp and having met him in person he strikes me as exactly the sort of man you want around when preparing for such a high-pressured occasion. Additionally, he would have certainly had the media, fans and players on side from Day One. However, first and foremost I am an England fan and now the appointment has been made I will be getting behind the manager and his team; as would still be the case if Glenn Roeder was appointed and took a mix of Hartlepool and Walsall players with him.
I don’t know whether or not Roy will be a success but if we don’t leave him to get on with his job then we should prepare our fingers and mouths for the customary two year pointing and moaning period now. It’s a real shame we have to give our new manager the unwanted distraction of not believing in him. As a country, we’ve got enough to be misanthropic about at the moment so can’t we at least feign a fondness for singing Three Lions again? This week’s Football Coffee Break is a handy Hodgson and Redknapp themed fusion of audio and video…