Emmanuel Kant defined Enlightenment as, ‘man’s release from his self-incurred tutelage’. Kant believed that for mankind to be capable of reason, for society to progress, people had to think for themselves and escape the authoritative knowledge which was thrust upon them. If the England team is to perform well at the Euro’s this summer, then they must take heed of Kant’s philosophy.
Roy Hodgson’s appointment as England manager has been met with a muted response from twitter fanatics Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney. These senior players did not shy away from championing Harry Redknapp as a successor to Fabio Capello only a number of weeks ago. Therefore, their silence on the cyber stage is somewhat reflective of the negative feelings surrounding Roy Hodgson’s appointment.
But it shouldn’t be. Hodgson is an extremely capable manager, with a wealth of experience at the highest level. It is evident that Redknapp was the popular choice among journalists, fans and fellow managers to fulfil the vacant post at Wembley. However, the England players should think for themselves, and not simply jump on the bandwagon and dismiss Hodgson as an unworthy manager before he has even started. He wasn’t given a chance at Liverpool, and look how that turned out for everyone involved.
Hodgson is the only English England manager to have had previous international experience before taking charge of the national team. Surely that has to count for something? He guided Switzerland to third in the FIFA World Rankings in the mid 90’s and has had two spells in charge at Inter Milan. Today the Italian club stated that he will ‘always be a friend of Inter’s’.
Hodgson is a multilingual manager. He is well travelled and well liked throughout European football. Here we have an intellectual England manager who has the credentials to bring the thinking back into English football. For too long has watching England been a laborious task. We witness passes between Terry and Ferdinand for literally minutes on end, before one of them eventually lumps it forward to an isolated Peter Crouch.
Hodgson enjoys tactics; he is a thinking man’s football manager. If they are willing to open their minds to him, Hodgson will bring out the best in our talented youthful players; competent enough to play stylish football. He is infamously known for his lengthy training sessions and discussions with senior players regarding different approaches to games. The Ferdinands and Gerrards of our squad shouldn’t be turning their noses up at Hodgson’s appointment, but rather, relishing the chance to work with an accomplished manager. Who knows, they might actually learn something.
If England are to finally achieve some international success, and not fly back home with their tails between their legs, they must ignore the negativity to this appointment. They have a genuine chance to broaden their football horizons and should embrace Hodgson. Football is about winning, and Hodgson has proven that he can manage winning teams. If England want to win, listen to Kant’s philosophy: ‘Sapere aude!’. ‘Dare to know!’.