Posted: 5/1/2012


       It's about time in my opinion, and hopefully not too late in his career for Roy Hodgson from South London to become Manager of England, the ultimate job for an Englishman, and a well traveled one at that.

      I first came to notice him when he took over at  Hallmstads BK in Sweden and took them to a couple of Alsvenka titles before doing the same 5 times with Malmo FF just along the coast. He moved to Sweden at 28 after an undistinguished career with Crystal Palace Reserves and in non league football and since then has travelled extensively. Norway, Finland, England, Switzerland, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Denmark and is well respected as a clinician within UEFA and FIFA.

      A decade or so ago I had a one hour phone conversation with him. WELL, he spoke a great deal and I listened !! He is perhaps not the people's choice, but we know what has happened when the mob rule-think Kevin Keegan for one. Harry Redknapp was the popular choice, a coach who claimed at his recent trial that he had never written a letter or read a book. PERHAPS he filled in the application form and spelled his name wrong?? After the absurdity of Fabio Capello and his helpers at a cost of about 24 Million, the thought of paying off 10 million to Spurs MIGHT have been a factor.

      It's my opinion that he should have been appointed after success with Switzerland, who he took to USA 1994 and to THIRD PLACE in the FIFA rankings. He has been criticised for his 4-4-2 'rigidity' with formations at Fulham and Liverpool, but has changed his tune somewhat at West Bromwich Albion. Much was made of his lack of success at Anfield which lasted six months. Not sure how much the fact that his wife Sheila is an Everton fan. He is well rounded, enjoys books, the theatre, the opera and a good hairdresser. Perhaps Harry is a better fit for a club job, as was Don Revie, for example.

      The press conference at Wembley was a low key affair in a windowless room, rather than in one of the rooms, press centre or restaurants that show the inside of the magnificent stadium and its pitch and seating areas.

      The F.A. Cup Final is at Wembley this Saturday (Liverpool v Chelsea if you had forgotten) with an unusual 5.15pm kick off. After all the excitement of recent Champions League and EPL matches, I hope that we won't be disappointed.  ESPN is starting its day long coverage at 8.00am for goodness sake !!!

      UEFA will expand the 16 nation European Championships from 16 to 24 after this years event in Poland/UkraineFrance will have to host 24 teams in 2016,and is having troble pursuading cities to put their hands up and their hands in their wallets, but there is not much appetite for such a large tournament for the future. The only candidate so far for the 2020 version is Turkey which is also bidding against Doha, Baku and others for the 2020 Summer Olympics, and won't be allowed (nor can afford) both. Germany, which had the very successful 2006 FIFA World Cup had expressed an interest but soon pulled out, as has a joint Georgia/Azerbaijan bid.