Roy Hodgson was interviewed by one of the country’s finest sports writers for today’s Observer. The result is a very revealing interview.
After a few interesting asides on literature, Hodgson gives a fairly realistic appraisal of where Fulham are.
I constantly preach the message that all the time we can remain a Premier League club, filling the stadium with 25,000 people, playing the sort of football that those 25,000 people seem to appreciate, I’ve got to say I think that’s success. We got into Europe. People will say ‘Let’s get into Europe every year’. The first thing then will be bigger salaries, asking the chairman to spend even more money, and losing a bit of what we’ve built up in the last two years
Who knows: maybe one or two of these big-hitters we’d brought in for £10-15m, and £50,0000 or £60,000 a week – money we don’t pay – wouldn’t be as dedicated to doing the job on the training field. Maybe it would be a different type of management. Maybe we’d be handing the club over to them. There might be people who have other ideas, who want us to be Chelsea, right up there.
Hodgson says he’d be flattered to be considered as a successor to Fabio Capello.
I don’t know I can say it’s ever been an ambition as such, but it’s always been a crowning glory to be asked to coach your own national team. I’ve coached foreign national teams, and I’ve been invited to coach other national teams abroad, but as an Englishman if anyone ever said ‘We think you’re the right man to lead the national team’ you’ve got to be very pleased with that. I’m really happy that people have seen some qualities in me that make them say I’m a candidate.
His methods are simple and yet effective. The transformation since he took over from Lawrie Sanchez and, even later that season, after Fulham won just two of his first 20 games as Hayward points out, is remarkable.
Mostly it’s been the weight of the work we’ve done, the regularity, the consistency, the routine element, and trying very hard to remain on the even keel and not lose sight that what we’re doing is right, irrespective of whether we’re in a little losing spell. I couldn’t deny that the pleasure I’ve had working here would compare with anything I’ve done.
Hodgson’s keen to complete the job he’s started at the Cottage.
Absolutely. There’s no reason not to. The thing would be to make sure they want me to. If I could feel they really want to continue along these lines, and they want me to be the man to do it, I don’t have itchy feet at all.