The resignation of Fabio Capello as England manager in February saw a debate everyone in this country is used to when the national team is without a manager. Who would follow on from the Italian? The Football Association took two months to make their decision, and while supposedly the whole country wanted Harry Redknapp in charge, David Bernstein and co appointed West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson.
This was abruptly followed by a wealth of criticism from fans and media sources alike. Redknapp was their stand out candidate for the job, something Bernstein was quick to dismiss as he claims he only had his eye on one man. Hodgson. In Hodgson’s first press conference as England manager, a large proportion of the questions were to do with Harry Redknapp. Just why he wasn’t appointed the job seemed to bemuse the country, and it didn’t seem that Hodgson had anyone’s backing.
In Redknapp, the country would have had a man manager, a manager who loves his individual players and will stick with them through thick and thin. Maybe this is what people thought the national team needed, someone who could finally get the most out of both Gerrard and Lampard together in midfield. To look at Tottenham, Redknapp whole-heartedly values players such as Ledley King, Rafael Van Der Vaart and Gareth Bale. He will look to accommodate them and build his team around them. He is certainly a motivator, and is very capable of bringing out the best in individuals. For many this is what England needed, but in reality it’s not that simple. Redknapp gets the best out of players at Spurs on his terms, but a clash of personalities is likely with the best players in the country together, and just how easy is it to get the best out of them as a unit? Getting Rooney and Crouch to strive off each other in one tournament would not be easy, he would not have the time and he would not be able to see his player’s day in, day out. This is something he very much relies on and building up an understanding between players would not simply happen in time for Poland and Ukraine this summer. Imagine trying to get the best out of Rio Ferdinand and John Terry as England centre backs after the season they’ve had.
Hodgson is not a man manager. He does not rely intently on individuals. Hodgson is a worker, a tactician, and a thinker. He would eagerly take interest in every single player eligible for England, not just the big names. He has already said he’ll give a chance to those who have underperformed in the past. Hodgson will probably not make England European champions this summer, but the infrastructure he can oversee develop and the changes he can begin to implement will provide England with a stable backbone for the future. Hodgson, as we all know, has a vast amount of managerial experience already. He is the first ever English England manager appointed with previous international managerial experience. Hodgson, as he has shown at West Brom, will use the resources available to him through youth and academy structures, something that will also be beneficial with the opening of St George’s Park. Another problem for many was his ‘failure’ at Liverpool, but achieving there has been proven difficult by his predecessor Dalglish. The Liverpool fans and board have all been a lot more patient with Kenny Dalglish, despite the fact he has spent more than Hodgson ever did.
Since the England manager’s job was up for speculation, Spurs’ league form has taken a decline as they surrendered a ten point to lead to Arsenal in the race for third place. Even certain Tottenham fans are not particularly happy with Redknapp at the minute. Redknapp is the right choice for those who demand success at Euro 2012, even though it is scarcely achievable with the likes of Spain, Germany and Holland in the way. Hodgson is the right choice for those who accept England are underdogs going into major tournaments, and are willing to be patient with their England manager. Patience is the key to unlock Hodgson’s fantastic potential as England manager.