Saturday, 23 June 2012

Roy Hodgson has already proved he's the right man to manage England

Roy Hodgson
Euro 2012 is turning out a delight. Sometimes calling football "the beautiful game" is said ironically. But to date the contest hosted by Poland and Ukraine has passed all expectations in the quality of football and the general absence of scandal on and off the park.
Making it all the better from an English perspective has been the national side topping its group and making it into the quarter finals.
Even if we're knocked out by Italy tomorrow, the team will have acquitted itself well given the low expectations prior to the start of the competition.
Roy Hodgson has already proved he was the right man for the England manager's job despite the doubters including, I have to admit, myself.
I underestimated the importance of his international experience; fortunately the FA didn't.
As a nation we don't grow enough naturally talented players to produce particularly attractive football. Hodgson has injected the next best thing - a self-belief that a disciplined team with an intelligent game-plan can frustrate your opponents' superstar attack.
It helps players and fans alike to have an articulate English speaker in charge. Hodgson's intelligent exchanges with the Press make a refreshing change from the monosyllabic responses of his predecessor.
It means also he can instill a unity in the side, which has been sadly lacking in the past.
There are some signs - like John Terry's clearance of ball that had already crossed the line in the Ukraine game - that Hodgson is a lucky manager. A quality that has been in short supply in the England camp for too long.

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