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Talking Sport: Hodgson is a very nice man - but an England boss?
THE FA gave it careful thought, assessed the mood of the nation and realised that for once the public were united behind one man.
The only sensible option, they therefore decided, was to appoint someone completely different.
So it was Roy Hodgson, not Harry Redknapp, who became the new England boss yesterday.
Even those who backed him didn’t sound totally sure about it.
“England can lift a trophy under Hodgson,” said the well-meaning Stephane Henchoz, who worked under the 64-year-old at Blackburn Rovers and with Switzerland.
“He wasn’t a big success at either Inter or Liverpool,” he added, though.
“When you train with Roy every day, it can be a bit boring as you repeat the same motions.
“I wonder if big players at big clubs are really prepared to do that type of job.
“At smaller clubs, where players want success, they are more prepared to do the work the way he wants it done.”
The assessment of Hodgson’s training methods as somewhat monotonous is not unique. Martin Dahlin has great respect for the man who helped to build his own career, but admitted pretty much the same a couple of years ago.
An often defensive strategy built on method rather than star quality is perfect for the team with lesser expectations.
Hence Hodgson’s impressive CV.
But put in charge of a team where success is demanded, and he has come up short.
“There were autopsies after every game,” Hodgson recalled of his time at Inter.
“Tearing apart every single aspect of the game and every single aspect of the performance – something I had been spared all of my life and I wouldn’t mind being spared from it for the rest of my life, if I’m truthful.”
Let the alarm bells ring at that little quote. Welcome to life back in the goldfish bowl.
The FA have taken a massive risk by snubbing Redknapp.
Compensation may have been off-putting, but better to spend the money on the outstanding English candidate of his day than on Fabio Capello, a man who did not even speak English upon his arrival.
Hodgson is a thoroughly decent man, and we wish him well, not least because the country’s hopes are now in his hands.
But on previous evidence, I fear for him. I hope I am wrong.