While many will question whether Roy Hodgson is the most qualified man for the England job, The FA must be commended on running an efficient manager search – and for keeping a lid on proceedings, for once.
In managing the process, The FA has, somewhat incredibly, pulled a fast one over England supporters and the media by doing something decidedly FA-esque – appointing a middling, relatively small-time manager, who it can presumably control. Nobody saw Hodgson coming, but in hindsight, it was a pretty obvious choice.
Harry Redknapp – the favourite and fans’ choice – was always a risk. English, yes. High-profile, definitely. But hardly someone to keep calm and carry on. They have trodden the populist, firebrand route before with Kevin Keegan, and look how well that turned out. And given the carry-on with Fabio Capello and captain John Terry’s sacking, The FA seems to have gone with the safe pair of hands rather than someone who at some point is bound to rock the boat, if not drill a hole in its hull. All talk of another stellar non-English manager such as Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho, was always pie in the sky.
Hodgson is the best choice for what the FA wanted – a steady hand, who is glad of the job but not too big for it. Someone they will probably be able to push around a bit.
The appointment was made in the timescale the FA said it would be, and nobody blew the whistle to the press, and hats off for that. Wembley now has to convince us all it was the right appointment.
The FA is the undoubted victor in the media battle, but can they win the PR war?
Management ups and downs
After being eight points down and counted out of the title race by most commentators, (including this column. Ahem.) and, somewhat bizarrely, himself, Man City’s manager played a tactical blinder on Monday to beat Manchester rivals United in The Biggest Game in Premier League History™. Advantage City.
Sir Alex Ferguson
After being eight points up and having his team crowned champions by most commentators (including this column. Ahem…) but never himself, Ferguson seemed to think that “Doing a Chelsea-in-Europe” on Monday and absorbing pressure for 90 minutes would all-but secure his team the title. Whoops. Alex, you’re better than that.