“I wouldn’t trust the FA to show me a good manager if their lives depended on it,” Harry Redknapp, in his autobiography.
With England’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup going smoothly, particularly after a convincing first half display against Denmark last night in the 1-0 victory for The Three Lions, it’s time to pat The FA on the back and acknowledge that they made the right decision in appointing head coach Roy Hodgson.
Despite Harry Redknapp being the name on everyone’s lips following the departure of Fabio Capello in February 2012, Hodgson was always the most suitable candidate. In fact, Hodgson’s CV far eclipses anything Redknapp has achieved. Reviews of the top rated gambling sites would have shown that Redknapp was not the logical choice.
Hodgson already had plenty of international experience as a manager before being appointed England manager in May 2012. He had managed Finland, United Arab Emirates and Switzerland – the latter being his most successful. He led the Swiss national side to the Round of 16 of the 1994 World Cup in the US and followed this up by qualification to Euro ’96 in England. Before Hodgson’s tenure, Switzerland had not qualified for a major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup.
Of course, it would be wrong to compare these jobs to the size and pressure associated with the England hot seat. However, it is clear that Hodgson understands international football and what is needed for success. Take a look at England’s qualifying campaign. They ultimately finished top of the group and unbeaten in all 10 games. The 0-0 draw in Ukraine attracted large numbers of critics for the lack of ambition shown by England. Everyone seemed to forget the most important point – England avoided defeat. Hodgson would openly admit that he is naturally a more cautious thinking coach but this has absolutely worked in England‘s favor throughout the qualifying campaign. Trips to Montenegro, Poland and Ukraine yielded a draw in each, followed up by wins in every home game bar a 1-1 draw with Ukraine last September. Under Redknapp’s guidance, would England have gone through the campaign undefeated? I doubt it.
Redknapp is undoubtedly one of the best English managers around but he only has one FA Cup win with Portsmouth and Champions League qualification with Spurs on his list of achievements. People forget that he has now been relegated twice with both Southampton in 2005 and QPR last season. Imagine the media frenzy this summer if he had led England to Brazil.
Hodgson is calm, pragmatic and seems to be a far more humble character. Whilst Redknapp’s damning quotes from his autobiography were released at a crucial juncture in England’s qualifying campaign, Hodgson maintained his dignity and refused to respond to his labeling of being a “yes man”. One does wonder who decided on the timing of Redknapp’s autobiography release, but it only stands to confirm that Hodgson was the right man for the job. A man who truly wants what is best for England.