Roy Hodgson Being Lined Up To Replace Fabio Capello as England Manager?
After his misjudged signings and a general lack of being able to motivate the Anfield club saw both the team and his own credentials in tatters, it was an idea difficult to comprehend.
Yet it only took a few minutes to reflect on what could become of an underwhelming and under-performing national side if Mr. Nice Guy Hodgson took the helm.
Whilst he could not produce a title challenge with Liverpool, his determined and gritty efforts at Fulham and West Brom have elevated his status and therefore his opportunities.
The likes of Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho can manage high-profile players on a consistent basis.
Yet it takes a different kind of manager to take a side of "overpaid" players not reaching their full potential and make them into a surprisingly competitive entity. His stubborn tactics at Fulham enforced the London side's ability to defend their way through games and consequentially edge them into a European final.
At West Brom he similarly dragged the side so heroically out of relegation, remarkably scoring the same percentage of points in doing so that he could only frustratingly muster at Liverpool.
Perspective and hindsight are therefore wondrous things, and even a powerful weapon.
An obvious downside to having him manage the England squad is the subsequent lack of flare that could become evident on the world stage. An England squad under Hodgson would be unlikely to warrant any commendations from spectators who like the excitement and beautiful visions of fancy football.
Yet maybe we could give this experienced manager a shot. The majority would give up the tricks and special skills of a side like Spain if we could at least compete with them.
Hodgson is now closing in on Spurs manager Harry Redknapp for the position, which is not surprising considering his previous spells in managing Switzerland, Finland and the UAE.
England does, however, possess a whole new set of challenges. Here is a side heaped in such intense expectation. They are a side who have won the World Cup before, and been in numerous knockout rounds.
Would Hodgson crack under this immense pressure? Possibly.
You can't help but feel that this is the reason many would prefer Redknapp who has succeeded with Spurs in the Champions League. Hodgson had his chance at Liverpool and blew it so could we trust him to handle the dreams of the nation and bring some much wanted glory to England fans?
What we have to remember is that the current England side are not going to be considered favourites for any tournament. And this is where Hodgson excels; at a team who are the underdogs. He has made seeming nobodies into somebodies which is just what the national side is in need of.
What it could eventually come down to is whether those who make the decision deem appointing Hodgson as a risk too far. Or whether he can get a team of individual talents but collective disappointments into a definite force.
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