I’m Feeling Sorry For Roy!
Posted on May 1, 2012
Despite what I imagine is a very comfortable lifestyle, courtesy of years in football and the £2.5m a year contract he is about to sign, I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for what Roy Hodgson is about to endure after agreeing to become the new manager of the English national football side ahead of the “Proletarians choice” Harry Redknapp.
If it was not enough of an ordeal trying to manage the deluded and self pitying red side of Liverpool whilst the eternally detestable Kenny Dalglish hovered over him like a vulture, Hodgson, a seemingly likable man who sounds a bit like Harry H Corbett (Steptoe & Son) and looks like an extra in a 1970’s Michael Caine film, has now been given the thankless task of trying to assemble a national football team that anyone actually cares about, myself included.
However because it is Hodgson, I want him to do well. I have no relevant allegiance to the guy, but for some reason I hold a candle for him, probably because he was treated so badly at Liverpool, a football club I have always despised like no other and always will.
Roy Hodgson: New England manager until 2016
It would appear that the FA have carried out the equivalent of due diligence on Redknapp and decided, like they did with Brian Clough in 1977, that there remains a high risk that certain sections of the media will throw bucket loads of shit him and some will inevitably stick. There is also a feeling that Redknapp’s football teams reflect his character, flamboyant and open, but vulnerable to attack.
In my opinion, for the little it is worth, Redknapp reminds me very much of Terry “El Tel” Venables….. there is lots of character and charm, but very few trophies and history that is more chequered than a tablecloth in a Lyme Regis tea room. I like Redknapp, but if I was employing him, I would be waking up in a cold sweat every night. There are too many people who will searching every cupboard for a skeleton and you wouldn’t bet against at least a few few being found. In fact Harry may well be quietly reflecting a lucky escape, especially as he has had minor heart issues in recent years.
A brief look at the “CV” of Hodgson will split opinions. To some, seven League titles in Sweden looks impressive, whilst to others, it is the equivalent of seven second class degrees in Sociology or Media studies. Hodgson has other even less illustrious titles from Denmark and just a couple of UEFA Cup Runners up medals (Inter Milan and Fulham) that have come from tournaments that have actually been heard of outside Scandanavia.
However, as a manager you can only win what is in front of you and he did that in some style in Sweden. He also had an impressive spell with Switzerland who reached number three in the world rankings and for those with memory full of useless statistics like mine, you will recall that the Swiss were a Wembley post away from beating England in the first game of Euro 96 that ended 1-1.
No one knows what Hodgson could have achieved with an illustrious club such as Chelsea or Manchester United, but if you take the whingeing Liverpudlians out of the equation, he has done very well at Fulham, Blackburn Rovers and his current club, West Bromwich Albion, who he has successfully rid of the “Boing boing Baggies” tag, courtesy of their perpetual relegation/promotion campaigns.
In my opinion, football, like any business, has to evolve (as Barca are discovering) and I can’t help thinking that the FA see Hodgson as more educated and cosmopolitan than Redknapp, who readily admits to being a home boy, loving nothing more than an evening in with Shirl’ his long suffering wife.
Would Redknapp really be suited to a long World Cup campaign in Brazil at the age of 66? I also heard an interview with him on the BBC yesterday where he suggested that the young footballers coming through the ranks didn’t care about England in the same way as the likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard do. Whilst that may or may not be true, it is doubtful the FA wanted to hear that kind of rhetoric.
Nostalgia will get you nowhere and England need to move quickly to begin catching up with the rest of the world. It is widely thought that Hodgson is more likely and indeed capable, of embracing and promoting the new £100m centre of excellence at Burton and it has to be said he does appear more business literate than Redknapp, who outside the bubble of the training ground, is by his own admission, not the sharpest of sticks.
The problem for Roy Hodgson is that the press will be after him in no time. As I write, there will be slimy tabloid hacks digging for something on the poor bastard. Whether it is getting caught masturbating by his mother when he was 12 or looking down the cleavage of a Swedish woman in back in 1986, they will be after him; that is how cretinous so many of them are.
If you think I am over the top, those of you who are old enough, take yourselves back to the Eve of the 1990 World Cup when poor old Bobby Robson was exposed as having a brief fling in 1974. It was a vicious tabloid act just as England were about to embark on a major tournament.
Sadly, as you read this, there will be people sifting through Hodgson’s private live, camping outside his house and going through his bins. At sixty four years old he is about to go through turmoil I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy because at the end of the day (an old football cliche) most of the players at his disposal are probably not capable of performing at the highest level, so he will be deemed a failure.
As I speak, a hack at the press conference has asked why, given the FA’s campaign against racism in football, did Hodgson play in South Africa in 1974, breaking the anti-Apartheid ban. There you see, these cretins will unearth anything they can to ruin him!
Good luck Roy, you will need it!