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England look set to turn to Hodgson

by Aidan Elder | April 30, 2012

Roy Hodgson - manager, gentleman and whistler

The FA are set to open negotiations with Roy Hodgson about filling the vacancy left by Fabio Capello’s departure. Given his oft-stated ambition to manage his national side, the negotiations should be some of the more sedate ever conducted in their offices. The news has come as a surprise too many, none more so than the marketing department at Paddy Power who decided to pay out on Redknapp back in February.

His varied CV and ability to point to Sweden on a map makes him one of the more cultured English managers currently working, but his appointment hasn’t sparked impromptu celebrations in the streets everywhere. His ill-fated spell with Liverpool hangs around his neck permanently like glamour models hanging around a Premier League footballer. For all his incredible work with Fulham, progress with West Brom and Swedish trophies, he’s still considered a bigger risk than an Englishman in a penalty shoot-out.

Stan Collymore pointed to the most basic form of conspiracy theories to explain the FA’s decision, using numbers he plucked randomly from his head to back-up his argument. “Harry Redknapp £15 million compensation + £4million annual. Roy Hodgson £0 compensation + sub £2 million annual wage,” he tweeted, using some dubiously sourced figures.

Former Newcastle striker and Celebrity Fit Club inmate, Micky Quinn unleashed perhaps the greatest hashtag of all time in his analysis of Sunday’s developments. “Roy Hodgson for England Manager and Torres scores a hat trick, book me in a nut house please #CUCKOOCUCKOO,” he typed.

Professional cynic, Mark Lawrenson implicitly seemed to back-up Collymore’s financial-based argument, claiming that Roy was second on the list of ideal candidates to Arry. “Harry is an excellent man-manager and I believe that Hodgson is second choice, whatever the FA says,” he told the BBC, again, not citing much by way of credible evidence. Much like his punditry. Zing.

For Spurs fans, it’s a double edged sword. On one hand they keep the manager they dearly cherish. On the other, it turns out the Spurs weren’t being distracted by the possibility of losing Harry to England and might just be a bit crap after all.

The apparently anointed one tried to paint a picture of stoic nonchalance in the face of the perceived kick in the nuts. “I’ve woken up in a great mood today on the back of a great win yesterday. ‘I’m very fortunate. I’m so lucky to be working at Spurs, working with fantastic players everyday. I like Roy he’s a top man and i actually think he’ll make it a big success,” he said with admirable amounts of stiff upper lip.

Odds wise, it’s been a journey almost as strange as Hodgson’s career path. Back in February when it was assumed Capello would be leading England to Euro 2012 and possibly beyond, he was a short as 11/2 to be Next England Manager. Once the Italian lived up to the convenient stereotype of being a hot-headed Mediterranean sort and it became apparent would need a future scapegoat sooner than anticipated, he drifted instantly.

With Harry not detained at her Majesty’s pleasure, his ascension into the role looked more likely than his son saying something inane during his Sky Sports punditry. You could back Roy at 20/1 to stop the ‘Redknapp For England‘ juggernaut in March and despite Spurs’ stumbles in recent weeks, Hodgson’s price was trimmed only slightly. Right up to last week he was back out to 20/1. He’s currently 1/7 to take the job, a price that seems almost entirely dependent on his agent’s negotiating skills.

As for England, they’re as unlikely to win Euro 2012 as they’ve ever been. Last March they drifted out to 10/1 for the tournament and that’s where they remain, even after the identity of the man in charge of the campaign has been all but confirmed. He’s 4/1 to win a major trophy as England manager, but be warned that something like ‘Le Tournoi’ doesn’t count. For the more pessimistic regarding the prospective appointment, England are 5/1 to lose all three group games at Euro 2012. Harry Redknapp is 2/1 to manage England ever, odds which say he’s more likely to wander the earth alone Clough-style without ever landing the job he not so long ago looked destined for.

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