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English FA take surprising decision to appoint Roy Hodgson as national team manager
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England plump for Hodgson over Redknapp

By prolifik on May 6th, 2012 in Blow the whistle 10 comments
England plump for Hodgson over Redknapp
Surprise choice - Roy Hodgson
The decision to name West Brom supremo Roy Hodgson as the new England manager took fans, players, pundits and most connected to the game by surprise. The experienced 64-year-old got the nod despite much of the media coverage suggesting Spurs boss Harry Redknapp was the favourite. Hodgson does have the edge over Redknapp in terms of experience, his managerial career spanning 18 different teams, including three national sides, during a 36 year period and it is hard to argue with his track record of getting the best of the players he has to work with. But for many fans and certainly for the media, Redknapp was thought to be the number one choice.

However, the FA are not really known for paying attention to what the fans want and taking anyone else’s views other than their own into consideration. They reached a decision that Hodgson was the right man for the job and secured his appointment after two days of talks. So what could be the reasons behind this decision to go for the safe and sensible, some might even say bland, Hodgson, over the outspoken, charismatic and popular Redknapp?

Well, for starters, Hodgson’s contract at West Brom was up at the end of June, meaning the FA would not have to fork out for any compensation to the club. It would have been more complicated and costly to prise Redknapp away from Tottenham, with the rumour being that it would have set them back £10 million to release him from his contract and compensate the North London club. This may have been a factor in the decision.

There is also the spectacular implosion of Tottenham’s season under Redknapp that may have caused some concerns over his managerial abilities, particularly in a pressure cooker environment. Despite looking potential title contenders at one stage, Spurs slipped out of the top four placings and were overtaken by bitter rivals Arsenal, following a run of just one win in nine games. They have since managed to return to winning ways and are currently in fourth spot but with just two games left and the chance that a Champions League qualification spot could be removed if Chelsea win the final, there is every chance it could end in tears for the Yids. It would have to go down as a disaster if they failed to make Europe’s premier competition in the end having looked so promising at one stage.

Before they suffered this poor run of form, Redknapp could not have been more highly thought of and there would have been uproar when he wasn’t selected for the England job if Tottenham had continued their early season form. Ironically, it was just after Fabio Capello quit as England boss and Redknapp emerged as the favourite that things started to go wrong for Spurs. There has been some suggestion that his link to the England manager position may have unsettled, not just him, but some of the players as well. Regardless of the reasons though, the sudden downturn of form that Tottenham suffered and Redknapp’s failure to address it, up until the last couple of games anyway, may have caused the FA to call his managerial skills into question.

Hodgson had a pretty good record as manager of West Brom and had steadily guided the club up the table from the precarious position they were in when he first took over in February 2011. He managed to steer them to 11th place in the league last season and has again done a terrific job this season as the Baggies currently sit in tenth position, just three points behind Liverpool, the club that sacked him as manager before he took the job the Hawthorns.

In fact, the only recent blot on Hodgson’s copybook is his tenure as manager at Liverpool. At the time when he took over, the club was in turmoil. They had recently sacked Rafael Benitez and the club was also up for sale. In truth, Hodgson’s spell in charge of the Reds was a disaster from start to finish and he seemed unable to motivate or inspire the players to perform well. By the turn of the year, it was Liverpool’s worst start to a season since 1953-54 and Hodgson was sacked after just 31 games in charge. Some Liverpool fans felt that Hodgson was not high profile enough to manage such a big club and that he was more suited to a mid-table kind of team. This is sort of ironic, since he has now been given the most high profile job in the country.

In his previous role at Fulham, Hodgson enjoyed an excellent reign in charge, saving them from relegation in his first season before guiding them to a magnificent seventh place and qualification for the Europa League. This was a remarkable improvement for the Cottagers. The following season he took them to the final of the Europa League where they were defeated by Atletico Madrid.

Redknapp’s record with his previous club Portsmouth was also rather impressive. In his first spell there he gained promotion to the Premier League by winning the Division One title and then succeeded in keeping them up the following season. After a brief and unsuccessful spell with Pompey’s bitter rivals Southampton, during which they were relegated to the Championship, he then returned to Portsmouth and this time saved the club from relegation. The following season he guided them to a ninth place finish, their highest since the 1950s. He also took Pompey to an FA Cup win, beating Cardiff City in the final in 2008 before joining Tottenham.

Spurs were bottom of the league when Harry took over but he made an immediate impact, winning 10 out of a possible 12 points in his first two weeks to steer them out of the relegation zone. They finished eighth in the end, just missing out on a Europa League place and also reached the League Cup final that season, which they lost on penalties to Manchester United. It was a very impressive turnaround in such a short space of time. In his first full season in charge at White Hart Lane, Redknapp guided Spurs to a fourth place finish, gaining Champions League qualification. Again, a remarkable achievement and a ground-breaking one as well, since breaking into that top four was notoriously difficult to do. They went on an impressive run to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League the following season where they lost to Real Madrid.

One thing Hodgson does have in his locker over Redknapp though is that he has managed at international level before, having been in charge of Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland. In fact Hodgson excelled as Switzerland boss as they gained qualification for the 1994 World Cup, losing only one game in a group that contained Italy and Portugal. Under the guidance of Hodgson the Swiss made it through the groups stages of the World Cup but they were then knocked out by Spain. They had done well though, considering this was Switzerland’s first appearance in the World Cup finals since 1966. He also coached the Swiss to easy qualification for Euro 1996 and at one point during his reign, Switzerland were number three in the FIFA World Rankings.

Another negative for Redknapp was the recent tax evasion court case, in which he was charged with two counts of cheating public revenue after it emerged that US$295,000 was paid to him via a bank in Monaco, by Portsmouth Chairman at the time, Milan Mandaric. Despite being found not guilty, high profile court cases such as this can easily tarnish the reputation of a top sports figurehead and it may have been that the FA did not want to take on a man who has been associated with dodgy dealings of any sort.

It would also be fair to say that the two men are very different in terms of personality. Redknapp is very outspoken and media friendly and has a tendency to say things exactly as he sees them. He’s not the sort of man who would be liable to let anyone else tell him what to say. Hodgson, on the other hand, is more of a quiet, sensible kind of character who likes to keep everything in perspective and would not allow himself to get carried away under any circumstances.

It’s also possible that the FA might have seen Hodgson as a bit of a soft touch, meaning that he will be willing to toe the official line and would be unlikely to criticise them in any way, whatever happens. Redknapp, however, is renowned for speaking his mind and that could make it difficult for the FA to maintain any level of control over him. We have already seen, with the incident surrounding Fabio Capello’s resignation, that the FA were prepared to go over his head to remove the captain’s armband from John Terry amidst allegations of racism. The FA like to do things their way at the end of the day.

Anyway, the bottom line is, in selecting Hodgson over Redknapp, the FA have essentially gone for the safe and easy option. No wrangling over compensation for his club, no discussions and difficulties in securing his release and no worrying about whether or not he’ll agree with the way the FA run the ship and what he might say to the media in the heat of the moment.

In a way, there was only one man the FA could go for in this situation. If had they made Redknapp their number one choice and then failed to reach an agreement with Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, over compensation to release him from his contract, they would have then had to turn to Hodgson. Everybody would have known then that Hodgson was their second choice and he was only doing the job because they had failed to get the man they really wanted. It may be that they didn’t want to take that risk and therefore opted to go for the man they knew they could easily get.

Contributed by richbrawn1
By prolifik on May 6th, 2012 in Blow the whistle

England plump for Hodgson over Redknapp
10 responses
29 May, 2012
dear robbie keane,i blveeie you signed new contract at spurs for 5 years before jumping ship.there was no declaration of love for liverpool at that did not notify spurs until the transfer window,that you wanted to leave.berba we knew was gone ,we only needed to know what put us in our present trouble by your lack of consideration,with little time to replace you.i note that up to today in the league you have played14 games,scored 2 the result you are benched and rafah cant sell you unless he takes a large loss.berba is doing no better p13 g2.he will end up in spain or italy.there is only one berba.there are over 10 robbies in the league.i blveeie the winters are very cold in liverpool.wrap up warm.if there is anything incorrect in the above please use this site to correct it.we wait in eager anticipation.
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16 Jun, 2012
we cant complain too much. i was ceirtan uefa was gonna smash us with ac and $ity, so got half of it. but our group is more than manageable. ac is tough but their defense isnt too great and they will be worried playing us. we can make zlatans life a bit tough as well which makes me happy
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