After months of journalists and fans pondering, speculating, and anxiety, over who would fill the England manager position vacated by Fabio Capello in February, then their thoughts were addressed earlier this week with the appointment of Roy Hodgson.
With rumours suggesting that Hodgson was about to be offered the job, a few eyebrows were raised at the speed of the process and the lack of any other candidates being interviewed. With the championships fast approaching, it’s understandable that the FA felt that they had to act quickly and decisively in the matter and in choosing Hodgson they have a manager with a wealth of experience, nationally and internationally, who’s managed to improve the fortunes of several of the clubs he has been at (Fulham and West Bromwich Albion most recently).
…right to hope and harbour the wish…
Speaking to the press at the conference Hodgson said: “Given my CV, I had the right to hope and harbour the wish that the FA, after going through the process, would choose me. I didn’t expect though.”
However, his appointment has been met with at little discord, at least in the press, who had expected Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Redknapp to take on the role. Whether the issue of compensating Tottenham (the FA denied this at the press conference), the lack of international experience or the dip in form were mitigating factors is uncertain, but it looks as if Redknapp was not the favourite (the FA had decided to go for Hodgson almost a month ago), despite the widely held belief that he was.
…managing the expectations…
So with the issue of who would fill the vacancy now resolved, eyes will turn to issues of bringing the squad together and preparing for Euro 2012. The rumoured problems with John Terry and Rio Ferdinand (after Terry allegedly racially abused his brother, Anton); the decision over who will be the captain; Wayne Rooney’s ban and of course managing the expectations that come with a major tournament, Hodgson will have his work cut out to appease the various stakeholders. It is a task he acknowledges saying: “…no-one tried to talk me out of it. I realise what I’m getting into. I’m not naïve. I have been in football a long while and know we’re dealing with enormous expectations.”
Let’s hope he gets off to a good start.
Image courtesy of Who Ate All The Pies