LONDON: Roy Hodgson will manage England at the imminent Euro 2012 and then on towards the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and 2016 European Championship in France; confirmation emerged from the Football Association ahead of a press conference at Wembley at which he was formally unveiled writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
One of the plus sides for the appointment of Hodgson, who will see out the season in his current role at West Bromwich, is that he has experience with Switzerland in the 1990s of taking a national team to a finals tournament. This was a yawning gap in the cv of Tottenham’s Harry Redknapp, the so-called ‘people’s favourite.’
After the chaos of South Africa, when then-manager Fabio Capello underrated with catastrophic consequences, the unique experience of national team tournament football, the FA could hardly have afforded to bring along another learning-curve manager.
The fact that Hodgson has been handed a four-year contract indicates that opinion within the FA about the need for a man with long-term potential across the entire England sphere won out over concern for an interim manager to run the Euro 2012 campaign.
Two years ago, after England’s awful World Cup campaign in South Africa, Hodgson had been a potential replacement for the Italian. Capello and the FA decided then to carry on together and Hodgson joined Liverpool for an ill-fated spell blighted by the boardroom battleground.
The appointment marks the end of a tortuous process which began on February 8 when Capello quit in protest at not being consulted over the decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.
Hodgson worked successfully abroad in management with Sweden’s Halmstad and Malmo then with Switzerland – whom he guided to the finals of the 1994 World Cup and Euro 96 – as well as Internazionale, Finland and the United Arab Emirates.
He guided Fulham, against all the odds, to the final of the Europa League in 2010 which they lost only in extra time to Atletico de Madrid in Hamburg.
At 64 Hodgson is the oldest new appointee as manager and the first who has experience of having managed at national team level. He is England’s 13th full national manager.
FA’s official statement
The Football Association is delighted to announce the appointment of Roy Hodgson as England Manager.
Joining from West Bromwich Albion, Hodgson has agreed a four year deal to become the full-time Manager of the Three Lions.
Hodgson, aged 64, who has won a total of eight league titles in a distinguished career, and coached the national teams of Switzerland, Finland and United Arab Emirates, met with FA officials at Wembley on Monday.
Having taken Switzerland to the FIFA World Cup™ in 1994 – their first Finals competition for 28 years – Hodgson also achieved a FIFA ranking of third in the world as well as successfully qualifying the team for Euro 96.
His former clubs include Inter Milan, Blackburn Rovers, Grasshoppers, FC Copenhagen, Fulham and Liverpool. He has also managed in Norway and Sweden. In addition, he has been a regular member of FIFA and UEFA’s technical study groups at tournaments.
Along with his vast experience of international and European football, Hodgson is the only English manager currently working in the top flight to have won the League Managers’ Association manager of the year award.
The new Manager will take charge of England at Wembley for the first time, when the Three Lions take on Belgium on Saturday 2 June at Wembley Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm). Tickets are available at www.TheFA.com/Tickets
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