Now’s the time for Roy Hodgson to make his mark for England

Written by Alex Veeneman

This is the question football fans have been attempting to answer for the past two weeks.

This is the question football fans have been attempting to answer for the past two weeks. Why did the Football Association give Roy Hodgson the gig as England manager instead of Harry Redknapp?

Let me get you caught up, as this was a rather sudden appointment. The FA appointed the West Brom manager as manager of the national team to succeed Fabio Capello. The four year contract was on the cards after meetings at Wembley on April 30th and May 1st. He now faces his first test at Euro 2012, and should England stumble, he’ll likely be one of the figures to be held accountable.

Yet, months earlier, Redknapp had been the overall favourite to take the job. He had been endorsed by managers and players across the League. Rumours swirled surrounding the possibility of his departure from Spurs for this role, although the FA had not presented an offer to him at the time of these developments. Again, Hodgson’s entering of the ring to succeed Capello was sudden, and without question likely confused fans everywhere.

Redknapp had no hard feelings for Hodgson, wishing him all the best for the role that awaited him. ‘I’m sure he’ll be a big success,’ Redknapp said according to a report from The Guardian. ‘I still think England’s got some great players, I really do. I think there’s some fantastic players in this country, some young players coming through, some great experienced players.’

The question of why Hodgson was chosen over Redknapp is still being debated. Even as I write this I am uncertain as to why Hodgson was chosen. However, I was confident both men would have taken England far. (By the way, your theories about this are welcome in the comments.) But, Redknapp still has an association with Euro 2012, but off the pitch. He took an offer with the BBC to be a television analyst for their coverage.

Hodgson now has an important role to play—getting England back on top and where it was compared to time under Capello. As a result, there are a number of things that Hodgson needs to tackle—including the issue of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand. Terry is facing trial in July amidst allegations of racial harassment against Ferdinand’s brother Anton. Although he denies the charges, Terry has said he is ready and willing to play with Ferdinand on the team.

‘I don’t have an issue playing with anyone and never have done,’ Terry said in an interview with the Sun. ‘I don’t pick and choose who plays for England and, if I’m selected to play, it won’t become an issue either.’ Terry also added his support for Hodgson.

Still, there’s more work to be done, including the all-important strategy. Yet, football fans can approach Euro 2012 with confidence that Hodgson will lead the team to victory and a welcome return.