Thoughts on Hodgson, Redknapp and the England managerial vacancy about to be filled.
The Footbal Association continues to surprise us.
After months of speculation and the looming certainty that Harry Redknapp would be their next appointment as England Manager, it would now appear that the current Tottenham boss has fallen out of favour with our beautful game's top brass.
Enter Roy Hodgson, current West Bromwich Albion manager and a good coach and a loveable rogue.
Source: Graeme Bandeira
In the wake of this news there have been a wave of some varied emotions. Personally I've already seen a great deal of support for the FA's approach to him, citing him as a capable professional with plenty of experience. On the other hand, there are plenty of doubters.
There also plenty of comments regarding Harry Redknapp. Some think it's ludicrous that he won't be getting the role after months of hype, some are quite pleased at the FA's stance on the matter.
The pros and cons are thus:
Roy has international experience with the likes of Switzerland and Finland, in addition to proving himself in other countries and in European club competitions, very nearly guiding Fulham to the Europa League not so many moons ago. He's been doing an excellent job at West Brom in firmly establishing them as a Premier League club, despite some on and off form in the middle of the campaign and their recent history as a "yo-yo" team constantly going from relegation to promotion. He's very astute and usually encourages positive attacking play. His vast experience at every level of the game could just be what the England set up needs.
The cons? His Liverpool stint was far from a happy one, and with all due respect to the International countries he's been in charge of before, the England job is a far more serioius one in terms of realistically being able to challenge for major honours, let alone it's commercial revenue. He'll be going into a cliqued dressing room who have previously ben very vocal about their support of Redknapp. Arguably, this would also be the biggest job of his career, even more so than the Liverpool job.
Also, some of the Redknapp criticism surprises me. Has he suddenly become a poor manager overnight? Simply put: No.
I appreciate Tottenham's run of form lately has been patchy at best, but that doesn't suddenly make Redknapp himself a terrible coach. Last season Spurs finished fifth. This season they are currently in the top four and made the FA Cup semi-finals, so they still have every chance of bettering their standings from last term.
With that being said, I'd fully support the Hodgson appointment and wish him all the very best. It would be a mighty tough ask, and I do fear that like the Liverpool job, it's something of a poisoned chalice with so much pressure and scrutiny that it is almost impossible for anybody other than say, a Jose Mourinho calibre manager to have even the remotest chance of gaining success from it, but I think he's an ambitious man and more than qualified to take on the position.
Whilst Euro 2012 is a little under two months away now, it's good that the FA have decided to act with a view to making the long-term appointment now. This ensures that England's players won't be under-performing in the knowledge that the person in temporary charge will not be there in the future.
Good luck Roy. You might need it.