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Why Hodgson could turn out to be the way forward for England

So apparently the media are distraught that Harry Redknapp has not been chosen, as many thought he would, to lead England to success at the European Championships and instead they have turned to Liverpool flop Roy Hodgson.

But, when you think about it, it illustrates just how absurd the media can be in England at times.

Let us first think about the qualities that the FA have outlined for what they want from their new man, and also consider what is required to lead the England team, and see if we come to the same conclusion as the FA.

What does the England side need?

Despite what the media claims, despite the sound bites of other world class footballers, despite domestic club success, England do not have a depth of world class talent to rival the rest of Europe’s elite.

Why do you think the Barcelonas, Real Madrids, Bayern Munichs and Milans never (usually) turn to English players to improve their squads? Gary Lineker played for Barcelona, Kevin Keegan for Hamburg, Glenn Hoddle for Monaco and David Beckham, Michael Owen and Jonathon Woodgate for Real Madrid. But that was then. Now who have we got to offer? Wayne Rooney, maybe, Gareth Bale, possibly.

What England needs is a shrew tactician who can organise the team defensively, make them difficult to beat and play to their strengths, in a 4-4-2 utilising the wings, using pace and direct counter attacking football to get in behind teams and being a threat at set-pieces.

In other words, much like Fulham when they reached the Europa League final, or Blackburn when they finished sixth in the English Premier League, or West Brom, who are due to finish safe in mid table again (whereas their rivals Aston Villa flirt with relegation).

There is a misconception that motivation is lacking and England need a media-friendly, attack-minded coach who the players like. They tried that once and it didn’t work, his name was Kevin Keegan.

What does the FA want?

The FA clearly wanted an English coach, who is cheap to obtain, has no skeletons in the closet and will not cause them further cost or embarrassment. In Hodgson they have a respected coach who is liked - and, more importantly, respected - within the football community.

He is a perfect gentleman in front of the microphone and well known for his borderline obsessive dedication. He, by his own admission, is more a coach than a manager, and that is what the FA want, a football coach, not a club manager trying to interfere with matters beyond his mandate.

Hodgson may not roll down his windows or have 'east end charm', instead he offers a professional attitude, high work rate and experience. Add to that, he is a well-travelled, cultured coach who has a history of organising teams and making them hard to beat.

His failing with Liverpool

The obvious counter argument would be that this approach failed at Liverpool, and did not win anything, ditto with Inter Milan. During his time at Anfield, Liverpool played a poor brand of football and his tactics were questionable.

However, that being said, Kenny Dalglish, cup success aside has not fared much better, having spent £100 million plus to improve the squad.

It is an experience Hodgson would have learned from and it may work to his advantage as England manager.

By Jasmit Jabbal

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