England selection in Hodgson's hands

Published Add your comment

Football News

Roy Hodgson has only been in the job for 48 hours, yet he has already faced some awkward questioning since being installed as the Football Association's new England manager.

The most difficult issues are yet to be addressed, however, and if the past few days at FA headquarters are perceived as a whirlwind of developments, the 64-year-old will need to prepare himself for what's to follow, as he looks to tackle a number of key topics.

The outcome of Hodgson's decisions around who to pick, who not to pick, whether John Terry should be included, and who will be appointed captain, will ultimately define his tenure as Three Lions boss.

His appointment was heralded by David Bernstein and Sir Trevor Brooking as a move with a long-term vision at the forefront of everyone's minds. Their words backed up by the four-year contract that was laid out on Hodgson's table.

Despite his term being very much in its infancy, the West Brom boss - who will not leave his post at The Hawthorns officially until the end of the season - has already been forced to deal with the surprise public and media reaction to actually getting the job ahead of overwhelming favourite Harry Redknapp.

Hodgson has also already experienced what it's like to be on the receiving end of negative press - or at least a distasteful front page headline by the country's leading red top. And, that's all before a football has even been kicked.

If one thing's certain, it's that Hodgson will not be afforded the benefit of a honeymoon period. The fact he will be plunged straight into Euro 2012 means he will not have the settling-in time that previous England managers have enjoyed.

His decision to pass up the chance to watch a number of summer hopefuls in the FA Cup final on Saturday, because he is committed to preparing West Brom for his penultimate game in charge, shows Hodgson is not afraid to make decisions that go against the grain.

He will be on the Baggies' training pitch on Saturday instead of at Wembley to watch Chelsea play Liverpool.

Unlike his predecessors, Fabio Capello and Sven-Goran Eriksson, ahead of their first games in charge of the national team, Hodgson already has detailed knowledge of all the English players in the Premier League.

"The players are pretty well known to me, even if I haven't worked with many of them," he said in Tuesday's press conference, after also revealing his decision to postpone the naming of his England squad until after the last game of the season.

Hodgson has already confirmed that he will take Wayne Rooney to Poland and Ukraine, despite the Manchester United striker being suspended for the first two games of the European Championships. But, there remains question marks over the future of a number of players - old and new - when it comes to the selection process of who deserves a place on the plane.

With that in mind, GMF considers five players whose fortunes may have changed, for better or worse, now that Hodgson has been placed in charge of leading the Three Lions into battle at Euro 2012 this summer.

Steven Gerrard

The Liverpool midfielder who played under Hodgson during his brief time in charge at Anfield, has given the new England manager his full backing. After enduring a difficult 191-day reign on Merseyside - at a time when the club was in the midst of a takeover - the coach's reputation was left undeservedly tarnished after a succession of poor results.

But, speaking in reaction to his international appointment, Gerrard explained that he has nothing but respect for Hodgson: "Roy is a good manager. I've worked with him before but I think he took the Liverpool job at the wrong time.

"My opinion of him has not changed before he got the (Liverpool) job, while he had the job or after it. He was very good technically, very thorough, a great guy and very loyal among the players."

If the feeling is mutual from Hodgson's perspective, we could be looking at our new England captain.

Ben Foster

The 29-year-old West Brom goalkeeper could follow in his manager's footsteps from The Hawthorns to an international return. Hodgson has already revealed that Foster will be under consideration this summer, having been impressed with his performances under his command.

"I'm not really in a position to talk about individual players or the selection of the squad at the moment," he said yesterday. "That's something I need to give consideration to. But Ben Foster will be one of the players under consideration.

"He's always been a good goalkeeper and since we've worked with him at West Brom, we've definitely seen a spiralling of his performances."

Foster opted not to make himself available for England 12 months ago, but following Hodgson's appointment could be tempted out of retirement.

Bobby Zamora

He may have had a torrid time at QPR since his transfer in January, but Bobby Zamora was one of the crown jewels in Hodgson’s Fulham team.

An injury ruled him out of a deserved place at the 2010 World Cup after an excellent season, but with his former manager at the England helm for Euro 2012, his chances of inclusion this summer will have improved dramatically.

With Wayne Rooney banned for the first two group games and Darren Bent out with injury, the Three Lions' lingering problems up front remain.

Chris Smalling

The Manchester United defender has enjoyed a rapid rise to Premier League stardom, but remember it was Hodgson who first gave the 22-year-old his chance for a crack at the big time, when he brought him to Fulham.

Less than a year after arriving at Craven Cottage, Smalling was snapped up by Sir Alex Ferguson in an £8million deal. His ability to play at both right-back and centre-half means he is well placed for inclusion in this summer's England squad, and Hodgson's arrival can only further strengthen his position when the 23-man list is announced later in May.

Joe Cole

After being released from Chelsea two summers ago, Cole was signed by Hodgson during his short time at Liverpool. The 30-year-old midfielder failed to find his footing at Anfield, and has spent the 2011-12 campaign on loan at Ligue 1 Lille in France.

His chances of involvement at Euro 2012 remain slim, but having formerly been a central figure in the England midfield, and featured in each of the last four major tournaments for the Three Lions, don't be surprised if Hodgson calls on the left winger's experience this summer.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:


Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again