Roy Hodgson And England’s Problems


Following the England win over Norway, Roy Hodgson lost his cool in the post-match press conference. There could be more problems ahead for Roy Hodgson and his England team.

Roy Hodgson and England’s Problems

When I heard the outburst by Roy Hodgson at the post match press conference following the Norway game I put my head in my hands.

Most of us are on his side and understand the difficulties he faces in these days of England’s best being only Premiership club reserves. Jan Aage Fjortoft came up with the best description of England’s predicament that I have yet seen in Steven Howard’s article in the Sun on Wednesday 3 September;

"The way England have been let down by the Premier League is a national disgrace."

Where is the pride in your national team? In Germany everybody understands that you need to have a great national team. In England you don’t have this belief. There is no unity whilst there seems to be a war between the Premier League and the FA. Sure the German clubs and the German FA quarrel but they always come up with the answers – because they have ONE GOAL in mind: a great national team. They know a poor Germany is bad not only for their football but an embarrassment for the whole country. But outside of the FA you don’t seem to care. It’s unbelievable.

What is the best symbol of your country? A successful England team or Premier League sides with foreign owners, foreign managers and foreign players? Of course it’s the England team. But as Arsene Wenger once said, you have to decide whether you want a great league or a great national team. Yes, good foreign players will improve your game but with short term owners you will get short term managers and short term thinking. Clubs go for the French guy who has proved himself at Lyon rather than take the time to wait for the (English) 17 year old to come through.

German clubs know the most important people are the fans. That is why no one can own more than 49% of a club. There is a real closeness between the clubs and the fans. You can get a season ticket for £100 and you can watch your team train 2 or 3 times a week. That creates a tremendous bond. In England though, you cannot get anywhere near the players and there is never a discussion about it because the people who run the clubs don’t want one.

I’m sure England players are still proud to represent their country. So please all you big clubs and rich owners, also be proud to develop players in the country where you do your business. There has to be unity. Everybody has to pull in the same direction. Unless that is done now, it could be too late.”

#454671364 /

Also in the Sun, Frank Lampard points out the problems with young starlets. He says that:

  • we have too many young players who think they have made it when they have not,
  • while some foreign bosses do not rate bringing England players through as a priority.

So, given that he has all this good will and understanding behind him, Roy then surprisingly set about chipping away at his support at the press conference. Having acknowledged that Wayne Rooney can play better than he did, he said that you don’t become a bad player if the performance you gave maybe wasn’t the one you want. That prompts the question, “So when do you become a bad player then Roy? After two, three, four, five lacklustre performances for your country? Or one, two or 3 poor tournaments? Or when LVG dumps you after your first 3 months as captain once the new galacticos take off?

Then it got worse. In response to a perfectly reasonable question about the fact that we only got two shots on target including a penalty Roy nearly went berserk quoting the fact that our opponents got in lots of blocks on our shots and one bounced off the bar. Exactly. If he had been lucky enough to have been watching Germany vs Argentina on the other side he would have seen that the difference was that their players were good enough to dance around the blocks and thread the ball through to colleagues who actually hit the target, scoring six goals between them.

More from Tottenham News

He then set himself up for more criticism, if not ridicule on Monday by giving another reason that we couldn’t score from open play against Norway was that they “weren’t coming out at us an awful lot.”

Firstly surely, it is a sad admission that we can’t expect to score against little teams that set out to defend. That only leaves big teams that are prepared to give it a go. Like Norway, on Monday, when he says it will be so different. Oh God, I hope so, because he burnt off a hell of a lot of good will in that out of character outburst. Whyowhyowhy? It was like his “Do I not like orange” moment, or a brolly moment.

The only difference is that this time the FA has pinned its colours to his flag and for now has no-one and nowhere else left to run to. I just hope that he regains that famous affable calm and continues the good work that he started. Everyone understands that he is starting from way back and has a long way to go.