Roy Hodgson seems to be the exception to rule when it comes to the managerial merry-go-round. He somehow manages to hurdle some very dubious decision making in a way that would undoubtedly make him a very successful career politician. Here’s the Thoughtful Football case…
2012. An underwhelming tournament, not entirely the fault of dear old Roy, but underwhelming none the less.
2014. Pretty dismal by anyone’s standards, even the England national team. There was also little to no evidence of any development in the time since Hodgson had taken over.
2016. On the eve of the Euros we are none the wiser as to who will play and how they’ll play. Yet somehow, Roy has evaded the scrutiny and personal abuse that England managers are normally subjected to. Curious.
Yes Roy Hodgson may not have been blessed with a golden generation, but is this an excuse for not implementing any kind of system or style of play in four years?
The very recent influx of young and exciting talent has caught us all by surprise, and Mr. Hodgson has had to accommodate the likes of Danny Rose, Deli Ali, Harry Kane and Eric Dier (bit of a pattern emerging there). What he hasn’t had to do is radically change the system in order to do so. Simply because there hasn’t been one under his reign as head coach.
This is why Roy Hodgson could well have been an equally successful career politician. Like David Cameron, he appears to have no philosophy one way or the other. His formations and selections reek of an attempt to pander to as many people as possible.
Case in point the diamond formation that appeases the ‘Rooney can’t do it upfront anymore brigade’, whilst also pandering to the ‘Rooney is our only world class player, he simply has to start society’.
Roy’s latest squad selection omitted anything resembling a winger who can cross a ball, effectively ruling out any possibility of a Plan B. Of course you have to come up with a Plan A in order for a Plan B to exist. Plan A TBC .
He’s also recognised our defensive frailty’s and decided to only name one natural holding midfielder. Rather than being labelled stupid, press and pundits alike are throwing around the word brave like there’s no tomorrow. How has he done it?
If we are once again to return to politics, the parallels with our current Prime Minister paint an interesting picture. David Cameron is alleged to have performed a sex act with a dead pig’s head and lies to the public about his knowledge of morally questionable off-shore bank accounts…all is forgotten in about a week. Ed Milliband eats a sandwich, career over. Roy Hodgson picks a player who has played one game of football this season, he’s as brave as they come. Steve Mcclaren uses umberella to avoid getting wet…maybe a bad example he is a bit of a wally isn’t he.
The thing is, this latest bunch of players that Roy has stumbled upon are actually pretty good, and they might just do something at this tournament. But make no mistake, if England perform like they did against Germany a couple of months ago it’ll be down to Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp. The two Premier league managers have embedded a belief and way of pressing that worked in England’s favor against Germany in March. Once again Hodgson got the credit for building something. Sigh.
In the same way that Boris Johnson will forever be credited with Ken Livingstone’s misleadingly named ‘Boris Bikes’, a victory in Euro 2016 will be evidence of one thing and one thing alone: Roy’s ability to walk through shit and come out smelling of roses. Pardon my French.