It’s time for Roy Hodgson to go all Shining on the pundits
Not one match over and the knives are out. Richard Williams screams Roy Hodgson is not a visionary waking up from a nightmare bathed in cold sweat. Stop press!
Kekule still gets the prize for dreaming up the serpent seizing its tail to unlock the cyclical structure of benzene. Now that was revelatory.
Much of this piling on has to do with Hodgson’s woebegone demeanour. Most of the time he looks like he swallowed a gherkin dipped in turpentine and then decided to go back for seconds. Which is a self destructive habit because people think you like it and then call you names or for your head whether you succeed or not. It’s not a Vincent Del Bosque type of phlegmatic because that man is actually murdering the opposition in his head whereas Hodgson seems to be in acute pain and discomfiture. He needs an image makeover, a snarly one, where he looks like he’s going to stick a fork in your liver and masticate on it with gusto, all the while washing it down with a nice Reisling. Or entering an eating contest with Hannibal Lecter.
He’s been dealt a bad hand. Injuries all around and a racism charge that was eating up the airwaves before England even set foot in Ukraine. A draw against France exceeded most expectations. Today, England faces Sweden and big man Andy Carroll is expected to punish a side that has problems defending against set pieces with one lash of his pony tail. It’s looking hopeful.
Visionary enters the vocabulary when you have two years to play around with. Not one month where you have essentially run out of square pegs to bash with a mallet to fill all those round holes. Hodgson was of course run out of Liverpool before given a fair shake because the media took over the small time narrative. Being England manager is by and large setting up yourself for failure and Hodgson deserves some kudos for being courageous enough to take the job with next to no time for preparation. His remit is not chalking out some sort of Socratic philosophy that guides England to a promised land.