Writer: Kristian Balkin
Date:Tuesday June 22 2010
Rumours have been rife about the supposed departure of Roy Hodgson from Fulham FC. Be it to Liverpool or England, the media and bookies alike make it seem an inevitability that Hodgson will not be the man to carry us forward into 2010/11.
The man himself, though, has kept his cards close to his chest. There is no doubt he has a big choice on his hands which houses 3 plausible outcomes; one of which relies completely on the resignation of Fabio Capello from England, which I must say, doesn't seem all too likely.
He has the option of slugging it out by the Thames (I use that derogatory term with irony I can assure you), taking up the opportunity Liverpool offer him, or, if the scenario were to arise, taking the helm of our proud nation following an abysmally embarrassing resignation from Don Capello.
From the outside it could be suggested that humble Fulham offer little to a manager who clearly possesses a wealth of experience and talent. Without an enormous amount of financial support, it is likely that we will not be surpassing the magnificent 7th place finish of 2009 any time in the near future.
Yet, it is that mediocrity that brings out the best in Sir Roy. I'm sure he would rank last season's European exploits as one of his greatest achievements, and the press were certainly backing him as one of the greatest managers around.
That kind of 'underdog support' from the footballing world cannot be envied by the likes of Liverpool, where expectancy provides pressure and pressure provides problems.
Roy has it easy here at Fulham in that sense. As long as he continues to over-achieve, just slightly, he will be a favourite to not only us Fulham fans, but every football pundit in the land.
To further the argument, the support he receives for constant 'barrier breaking' here at the Cottage leads to better opportunities in the future. Assuming for optimism's sake, England do just fine in the World Cup and Capello is kept a hold of by the FA, Hodgson will want a strong CV in order to show the FA he is the right Englishman for the job when Fabio does eventually leave for pastures new. He will have that here at Fulham, where he has a secure job. A job that we all know he can do well.
Liverpool could, on the other hand, spell problems for Roy's long-term future plans.
Most have the Liverpool vacancy down as a dream job. A big club in disastrous despair. Such a huge side should, in theory, be easy to rebuild, especially with such applaudable wisdom at the helm.
However, it can be equally argued that Merseyside is no place for Roy, not just because of the accent.
It's a risk, and I think it is difficult to doubt that. Yes, they are a top team, but they are a top team with financial difficulties, board room bust ups and unrest amongst the 'oh-so-brilliant' players.
The passionate Liverpudlian fans will expect the best of Roy. They will want unrivaled success at Anfield which will be difficult to come by given the extreme fiscal benefits that the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City hold over them.
While the job is a big job, it could prove to be the undoing of Hodgson, and I think he knows it. He has security here in Fulham, and the England job is all but in the proverbial bag if he can continue doing just half of what he's already achieved for us over the coming months and years.
So, as an obvious candidate to be employed as Roy Hodgson's personal advisor, despite my not-so-obvious biased view, I would suggest to the big man himself, a couple more terms at the Cottage will do him and the Missus the world of good.
Saying that though, if England do muck up and Capello leaves, then best of luck to Roy as England gaffer. He deserves that reward, and if he plays his cards right, he will get it eventually.
Bide your time, mighty one.
Date:Tuesday June 22 2010
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