Ahead of today’s England opener, this a fine read on England manager Roy Hodgson, a seemingly less-likely figure to head up one of the world’s most storied teams. (Not necessarily one of the world’s standard bearers, not for quite some time, in fact. But “storied,” yes; we can go with that.)
As The Guardian’s Andrew Anthony writes in the piece: “By his own admission, Hodgson’s career as a footballer was an essay in the ‘inglorious.’ He was rejected by Crystal Palace and made his way through a forgettable series of non-league clubs: Tonbridge Angels, Gravesend & Northfleet, Maidstone United, Ashford Town, Carshalton Athletic.”
What he did subsequently was establish a remarkable record of winning titles in Sweden. But, this being England, where accomplishments outside of the land are routinely dismissed in the clearest case study of the England football condition, those achievements seem lost on fans and pundits alike.
Still, in the strange way of the world’s round-about, it’s all adding up to create a greater base of Three Lions fact and reality. As Anthony says:
Given that hysterical optimism is the traditional prelude to an early England exit, the current downbeat national mood surely amounts to a long overdue engagement with reality. But there remains one positive omen amid the bleak forecasts: in Roy Hodgson, England have a manager who thrives under circumstances of low expectation.
It’s a good read. Check it out.
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