So Roy Hodgson is likely to be appointed England manager ahead of the European Championship. The FA admitted as much on Sunday when they confirmed they had received permission to speak with the current West Bromwich Albion boss about the national team job, and given that the 64-year-old has paid his dues at 19 posts in nine countries over the course of a distinguished 36-year career no one should have been all that surprised.

But this is the England job we’re talking about, and neither logic nor levelheadedness has ever come into play when it’s been vacant.

Whether Hodgson was the first-choice candidate or not is irrelevant. Yes, Harry Redknapp was the early favourite among the press corps and a good many fans, and everyone from Alan Pardew to Stuart Pearce was linked with the position at some point as well. The FA, however, claimed to have not made an official approach until now, and there’s absolutely no reason to disbelieve them.

The cold, hard truth of the matter is that when compared to Hodgson, no English manager has a résumé that comes close. Nor, for the sake of argument, do many of the national team managers who will be participating at Euro 2012. Take England’s group for example.

Laurent Blanc, the French boss, won a league and cup double with Bordeaux in 2009 but has only been involved in management for five years, over which time he’s been in charge of only 170 matches. Sweden manager Erik Hamren has won a title each in Denmark and Norway. Ukraine’s Oleh Blokhin, while an outstanding player, has a pair of Greek cups to his name as a manager.

Even the manager of tournament favourites Germany—Joachim Low—doesn’t have a pedigree that rivals Hodgson’s. He has an Austrian championship to his name with Innsbruck and won the DfB Pokal with Stuttgart in 1997. Netherlands boss Bert van Marwijk, meanwhile, won a Dutch cup and UEFA Cup with Feyenoord at the beginning of the last decade. Italy’s Cesare Prandelli has never won a major honour of any sort, but he took Hellas Verona and Venezia to promotion in 1999 and 2001, respectively. Croatia manager Slaven Bilic coached only 35 matches before his appointment and has no silverware to speak of.

I bring all of this into the discussion not to prove a point, but to ask a question: If not Hodgson, then who?

Reaction to the FA’s Sunday announcement (which, by the way, does not constitute an appointment) was as quick as it was overwhelmingly negative. For whatever reason, some pundits and fans got it into their heads that there was a star candidate at another club with titles and honours to his name who was just itching to take over the England job.

Again, the same question: who?

Did Pep Guardiola quit Barcelona to lead England on a memorably journey to international glory? Is Jose Mourinho merely buying his time until the FA give him that offer he so desperately craves? Is one of Arsene Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson just chomping at the bit to manage the Three Lions when the domestic season comes to a close?

In. Your. Dreams.

If the FA wanted an English manager to take the team to Euro 2012 they’ve approached the best man available.

Hodgson is a rarity among his countrymen in that he’s actually coached abroad, and successfully. He has managed three different national teams and took Switzerland to the knockout stages of the 1994 World Cup. He has also won exactly the same number of trophies as the seven Euro 2012 managers mentioned earlier. Combined.

Two of those managers, representing France and Germany, have considerably less experience than Hodgson and are nevertheless in charge of legitimate European contenders. The FA would have never, ever appointed a young, up-and-coming manager after the Steve McClaren disaster (sorry Stuart Pearce), so their options were already limited. And Tottenham’s £15 million compensation demands and an embarrassing recent tailspin took Redknapp out of the reckoning.

So again, I pose the same question. If not Hodgson, then who?

Follow Jerrad Peters on Twitter @peterssoccer

Comments (7)

  1. Fair point on Hodgson but I would like to add about Cesare Prandelli. During his time at Fiorentina he worked absolute wonders and was one of the most respected and loved coaches in the game. He brought the side to the Champions’ League and led them out of the group stages only to be stopped by incredibly controversial decision making by the referee. He would’ve taken them to the Champions’s League earlier had the side not been docked points for their involvement in Calciopoli. He may not have trophies to his name (yet) but he’s 54 and has done much more than merely bring two sides to Serie A.

  2. “tournament favourites germany? ” um………………………………………no effin way hahahah. spain and netherlands are way ahead. and italy with chielini and bonucci in defence will be unstoppable, theyve conceded one goal in 8 games in serie a. so about 4th favourite ;)

  3. Mourinho is not “buying” his time, he’s “biding” it. And he’s not.

    Moreover, saying Hodgson is experienced is another way of saying he’s old. He’s not a good manager, but he’s the best England have considering Redknapp’s team has nosedived in the past two months.

    • Especially because it appears, for all intents and purposes, that ‘Arry has lost the room and is blaming the nosedive not on his terrible transfers or lack of squad depth, but on the tiring bodies he fields every week.

      • I don’t really understand why Redknapp was even getting the attention that he was for the England post….you can’t be a “f***kin wheeler-dealer” in the International game; you can only pick players who are English.

        And Gareth Bale, Modric and VDV aren’t English….

  4. OK lets look at some of this….Woy won a bunch of Swediah titles…EPL that aint. Second he got minors to play organized defence and get respectable…international experience yes…what England need NO….

    Here is my biggest issue, he is a small team manager. Fulham, WBA does a very good job….Goes to Liverpool with a big budget and bigger egos and …DISASTER !!!!!

    Where as Harry ( although he has some drawbacks) is dealing with top draw players and making them work. Look at Modric after the Chelsea apprach at the start of the year.

    Harry is like Clough ( not the same class of manager , but loud and proud). The FA as usual are showing they have no balls…thats a shock !!!!!

    NOT AVIN IT !!!!!!

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