Roy Hodgson will bring a touch of class and decency back to the Premier League, writes IAN HERBERT
It’s usually something shiny and exciting that fans look for when a new manager comes along and Roy Hodgson, in all honesty, is none of those.
“There’s not going to be rainbows, blue skies and pink shows,” he once observed, when asked if a top-half finish might be within Crystal Palace’s range of expectations. “I never use the word ‘confident,'” he said last year amid the fight to save Watford, which he lost.
He returns to Palace, aged 75, with the club either 12th or three points above the relegation zone, depending on how full his glass is. Just four points separate nine teams and that whole part of the Premier League is in a state of paralysis. Clubs will not commit to new contracts until the relegation picture clears up.
Hodgson won’t set the house on fire at his news conference, but he will restore a sense that age and experience have a place in a management profession that so often now seems reserved for the young. He will also bring a fundamental humanity that seems increasingly lost amid the controversies and egos, pomposity and posturing of the modern management game.
Class has seemed sparse at times this season, though the Premier League carousel spins so fast that some of the vicious little moments have passed almost without comment.
Roy Hodgson’s return to Crystal Palace as their new manager was confirmed on Tuesday
Jurgen Klopp’s one-on-one criticism of a respected Liverpool journalist at Wolves was venomous. Pep Guardiola’s sneaky little moment of mockery for Steven Gerrard was despicable.
Such interventions would have been unnerving for Hodgson, for whom to burst onto the touchline, letting everyone see how furious you are, is also a foreign concept.
Aleksandar Mitrovic’s disgraceful behavior at Old Trafford was clearly a consequence of having Marco Silva in his line of sight, hitting the referee.
I heard Jamie O’Hara of talkSPORT, whose work I really like, say that young players wouldn’t be swayed by this behavior. It’s hard to agree with that.
When it was announced the other week that junior soccer referees would be wearing body cameras, no one flinched.
The old-school decency and courtesy that Hodgson brings has never seemed more necessary.
Class has seemed thin at times this season with vicious little moments from Pep Guardiola (left) and Jurgen Klopp (right) passing almost without comment.
Aleksandar Mitrovic’s disgraceful behavior at Old Trafford was clearly a consequence of having Marco Silva (centre) in his line of sight, punching the referee before being sent off.
Antonio Conte publicly punished last week the Tottenham players whose arrivals he sanctioned
It certainly has had its unflattering moments. A press conference in Chantilly, north of Paris, in which he reluctantly appeared after England’s exit from Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland, did not shower him with glory.
“I don’t want to come here like Uriah Heep and in a silly way,” he said. In a baggy way. It’s fair to say that his best work has come in more modest settings.
But while many would never have recovered from that excruciating episode, Hodgson did.
Without recriminations or self-pity, he went back up and started again. There’s too much talk about courage in sports, but Hodgson showed it after that brutal public humiliation seven years ago.
I remember him telling me, during a barbecue at the England team base in Hertfordshire before Euro 2012, that he had been reading the novel Stoner, written in the 1960s by the American John Williams.
Hodgson resigned from England job after Iceland knocked them out of Euro 2016
It is the story of an unsensational academic who is patient, earnest, persevering and steadfast in equal measure, seeking and finding precious inner space as the world crowds on him.
That has been Hodgson in many ways: conservative, cautious, deeply thoughtful, and certainly not a merchant of sound bites for the multimedia age.
A contrast, too, to the grim self-absorption of Antonio Conte, who has earned the kind of praise and riches Hodgson has never known, but returned to Italy this week after publicly criticizing Tottenham players whose arrivals he sanctioned.
A discussion about the expected goals metric might not last long with Hodgson. Not to mention philosophies.
When asked during those England years how he defined his method of football, he replied: ‘You can do the defining. We work on attack and defence.’
Hodgson has been away from management since managing Watford last season
He simply loves the sport to which he has given his life. And in the twilight of his career he discovered that he was a pretty good fit for Palace, a well-run, community-focused club that has built itself from a state of financial crisis to enjoy 10 straight years in the Premier League – his longest career. long at the top level.
When he had recovered from the heartbreak of England and was rebuilding so successfully at Palace, Hodgson reflected on the value of prudence.
“I think it’s dangerous, directly after a game, to come out with the emotions you feel and speak, because you can make mistakes,” he said. You have to settle down.
Conte could do worse than heed that wisdom. It’s good to know that age is not a barrier. It’s good to know that Hodgson is back.
Shocking response to podcast trying to get answers about the Bradford fire
The appalling level of investigation into the Bradford stadium fire, which claimed 56 lives over nearly 40 years, has always been baffling. And the answer to those who question its depth is unfathomable.
I discovered this while writing about Fifty Six: The Bradford Fire, an extraordinary book written in 2015 by Martin Fletcher, who lost his father, brother, uncle, and grandfather in the fire. ‘Get your nose out of our club’, sums up the answer. Fletcher has been demonized by many.
A new podcast investigation into those events, ‘900 Degrees’, coldly exposes the inadequacy of the investigation and asks, once again, how Bradford City and its chairman, Stafford Heginbotham, got away with an official investigation verdict. that the tragedy was just an accident. .
There are so many reasons why Popplewell’s superficial work lacked the remotest spirit of inquiry or curiosity.
The Bradford Stadium fire in 1985 claimed the lives of 56 people
The podcast, to which I have contributed, details a letter from West Yorkshire County Council to the club in July 1984 warning City that they were risking precisely the tragedy that unfolded a year later. They ignored him.
But Popplewell also decided that he would include an examination of a riot that occurred in the city of Birmingham on the same day as the Bradford fire in his mere five-day examination of the disaster.
“I don’t think it occurred to us that there was something weird about that because they came up on the same day and security and vandalism went hand in hand,” Popplewell tells the podcast.
The podcast researcher challenge received wisdom. ‘Just listen to me or I’ll end this interview,’ says one interviewee. ‘Just shut up.’ Sounds familiar.
shame on wednesday
Who knew you can actually ‘block’ specific terms of abuse being sent to you on Twitter? Now yes.
That helps when you’re on the receiving end of a wave of smear from a cohort of Sheffield Wednesday football fans, for describing how their club covered up an order to reduce the capacity of their Hillsborough stadium.
Wednesday are now considering going to court to challenge that order, which was imposed on them by a Security Advisory Group formed to protect people. A classy club, Sheffield Wednesday.
Sheffield Wednesday is considering going to court to challenge an order to reduce the capacity of its Hillsborough stadium, imposed by a Security Advisory Group.
What happened to our 2012 legacy?
It’s not just the state of our local public pools that is a problem. It’s getting into them.
Some time off gave me the opportunity to take my seven year old grandson to the Stretford Baths after school, a time when he needs to burn off some energy. No possibility.
On Mondays at 2:30 p.m. and every other day at 3:45 p.m., the toilets are closed. Pools have closed in Huddersfield, Milton Keynes, Coventry and Sevenoaks.
The councils that run them are cashless. And we talked about legacy when we secured the 2012 Olympics.