Roy Hodgson is somewhat of an anomalous selection for the job.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It took nearly three months but we finally know who will lead England's national team into battle this summer for the European Championships.
The resignation of Fabio Capello in February left the Three Lions in disarray just before the summer competition and the Football Association (English soccer's governing body) was left to pick up the pieces.
The FA did just that Tuesday, appointing current West Bromwich manager Roy Hodgson to the prestigious post.
Hodgson is somewhat of an anomalous selection for the job. He's been around the block with plenty of experience all around Europe, but he has experienced only marginal success compared to some of the others mentioned with a chance of landing the job.
Don't be fooled by Hodgson's stints with Inter Milan and Liverpool. Despite being good enough to land such high-profile managerial positions, he failed to lead the clubs to the kind of success that their supporters have come to expect on an annual basis.
Hodgson's Career Highlights
- Guided Swedish side Malmo to one of its best periods in club history, winning five Allsvenskan titles.
- Won the League Managers Association Award for Manager of the Year in 2010 by a record margin.
- Named England manager on May 1, 2012.
All eight of Hodgson's league titles as a manager have come in Scandinavian nations where the pressure and scrutiny pales in comparison to that of England and Italy.
Hodgson's spell at Liverpool from July 2010 to January 2011 is the most recent example of how supporters and journalists can impact a man in charge of a world-reknown team.
The Reds entered the 2011 calendar year with their lowest point total since the 1953-54 season, and fans and media alike suggested that the magnitude of managing Liverpool was beyond the likes of Hodgson. The 64-year-old didn't help matters by saying that Liverpool supporters failed to back him from the start.
Hodgson left the club by mutual consent amid the widespread conception that he couldn't handle the pressure.
There is arguably no managing job in the world bigger than the English national team, especially when it is on the cusp of a major tournament. That begs the question: why would the FA settle on a man who offers little in the way of top- level success and has a penchant for crumbling in the spotlight?
Harry Redknapp was widely viewed as the odds-on favorite to claim the position. He led Tottenham to a formidable display in the Champions League last season and challenged for first place in the EPL this term before a recent slide saw the club slip to fourth place.
Redknapp also had the support and respect of the players he would manage during Euro 2012 as Wayne Rooney tipped the 65-year-old to get the appointment on twitter following Capello's resignation.
Hodgson's Career Lowlights
- Pelted with coins after his Inter Milan side lost to Schalke on penalties in the 1997 UEFA Cup Final.
- Getting the sack from Blackburn after a poor start left Rovers bottom of the table by November.
- Lasting only six months in charge of Liverpool while getting little support from fans and media.
"Gutted Capello has quit," Rooney said via the social networking site. "Good guy and top coach. Got to be English to replace him. Harry Redknapp for me."
The FA also would have done well to consider Stuart Pearce for the job. What Pearce lacks in experience, he makes up for in man-management abilities. A recent player himself, Pearce knows the players within the England talent pool intimately, an invaluable attribute for a manager leading a country into major tournament.
The surface hasn't even been scratched with the suggestions of Redknapp and Pearce. There are plenty of foreign managers who may become available at the conclusion of the club season this month.
We already know Barcelona's tactical mastermind, Pep Guardiola, will be unemployed come summer, and there is always speculation surrounding Jose Mourinho's job at Real Madrid. Both men have resumes that not only speak for themselves, but command respect from players within in the England camp.
Any way you slice it, the ultimate selection of Roy Hodgson seems a bit hurried, a bit rash and bit of a gamble given so many other glowing names that are, or will be, floating around in the coming months.
Hodgson never really appeared to be the favorite for the job, and the fact that he's been appointed out of the blue makes it a curious move by the FA.