So Roy Hodgson is to be England manager . The right choice of a case short term pragmatism triumphing over the long term needs of the national team?
It’s no secret that the FA are cash strapped and, reading between the lines, it seems that this is one of the factors which has caused the FA to go to Hodgson? He is out of his West Brom contract at the end of this season whereas Harry Redknapp, the other manager touted to take over, will probably cost them around £10m to prise away from Spurs. Then there is the issue of international experience, Harry doesn’t have it, Roy does but then again so do plenty of other managers but they aren’t English. Quite why the FA should be preoccupied with nationality when the Premiership is choc a bloc with foreign managers and where there more suitably and experienced candidates elsewhere than Hodgson or Redknapp is beyond me.
So what of Roy? Let’s be honest, it didn’t really work out at Liverpool. Perhaps if behind the scenes circumstances had been different he might have had a better ride and been afforded more patience? As it is the overriding experience is of a Liverpool side stifled by a rigid if well organised system, what would Roy have done with a player like Luis Suarez? Then again perhaps we could say that the players weren’t flexible enough to meet his demands as it is Gerrard and Johnson will get another chance to come to terms with Roy’s world!
Perhaps Hodgson’s approach might suit England? If we are lucky enough to qualify for the knock stages of the Euros it might suit us, plenty of 0-0 and then penalties- ok, given England’s record in this area, perhaps not. One thing Hodgson is going to have to change is his rather “chippy” attitude when it comes to criticism. Anyone remember his comments about the Anfield crowd and even after he left he was bit sensitive when contemplating his return with West Brom.
‘There is no reason to give me a good reception because they didn’t like me when I was there. I can’t see they are going to like me now”
He was wrong however, if he thinks it’s going to be bed of roses and that everyone will fall at his feet when he’s with England he’ll be wrong again.
So to tonight’s game against Fulham, one of Roy’s old clubs, and a good opportunity to quickly build on Saturday’s win against Norwich. Steven Gerrard is conscientious of the need to maintain form especially given how bad we’ve been at home this season.
“We’ve got to beat Fulham first, we’ll take each game as comes and we want to go into the cup final in good form”
Despite this thoughts will inevitably turn to the next game, the FA Cup final against Fulham’s West London neighbours. Surely Kenny will rest players before Saturday if only to avoid injuries?
Prediction? Fulham will want to atone for the thrashing Everton gave them only a few days ago so will their second visit to Merseyside in a week be more productive? I think not and take us to win 2-0.