You might have come across Paddy Barclay’s piece for the Times’ website earlier today which essentially argued that Roy Hodgson should leave Fulham for a bigger club. Expanding upon his theme, Barclay appeared on The Game podcast this afternoon and said this:
What I’d like to see is Moyes go at the end of the season to Old Trafford and work with Ferguson, and I’d like then to see Everton take Hodgson, and the long term interest of both clubs would be secured by that. My sadness is that he can’t stay at Fulham, which is a club that I adore, but they simply can not sustain the current rate of progress on the budget they have. There are rubbish players at rubbish clubs earning three times as much as Roy Hodgson’s top player, so it’s really pushing a boulder uphill. All he can do by staying is there is see the same kind of erosion to his reputation, without it being his fault, that happened at Blackburn.
Again, I’m pretty unmoved by this. What Barclay would like to see happen is neither here nor there. But, for the sake of argument, I would reckon that Fergie’s got another couple of seasons at Old Trafford. He might well be motivated by the idea of taking Manchester United past Liverpool’s haul of league titles or winning another European Cup to go out on a high. David Moyes might be a candidate to succeed Ferguson but it would be a huge risk to put a manager without any experience of the Champions’ League or the sharp end of a Premier League title race into the Old Trafford hotseat.
And who says that Fulham can’t achieve any more? Turning us into regular members of the league’s top ten would be a massive achievement considering the low ebb at which Hodgson started. How much extra investment is that going to need? While Al Fayed is very much around and willing to put his money where his mouth is, why shouldn’t we expect to bring in a few more quality players each summer? Equally important, if the club continues on an upward curve then players like Brede Hangeland will have more reason to stay with us.
Isn’t there a similaly flawed argument to suggest that Moyes has taken Everton as far as it is possible too? They aren’t exactly swimming in money and this season some fans have criticised Bill Kenwright for failing to back Moyes in the transfer market? By the same token, you could argue that Martin O’Neill couldn’t get Aston Villa any higher than fourth in the table given the in-built advantages the ‘big’ clubs have in terms of financial strength.
Barclay’s much better value than some of his colleagues in the press, but I feel he’s guilty of overthinking this one. What’s more, I fancy this might be Hodgson’s last job in management. He’ll have got enough money from the game by the end of his next contract and could have a rewarding retirement at the head of one of those UEFA technical study groups he seems to enjoy.