There’s no glitz and glamour on the training pitches at Motspur Park. We’ve heard it before, but Simon Davies rather reinforces the point in an interesting article in the Independent on Sunday – Roy Hodgson’s secret is good old-fashioned graft.
Every day in training is geared towards team shape on the match-day coming up. I’ve been working with the manager three years now and every day is team shape, and it shows. We have a little laugh about it now and again, but when he came in we were fighting relegation and now we’re in the Europa League, so you take it.
I don’t want to give any secrets away, but he gets the 11 that he wants on a match-day and he drills everything in that he wants. It’s certain drills defensive, certain drills attacking, and we work very hard at it. There are no diagrams. It’s all on the pitch with the ball, nothing unopposed.
We do a lot of work after every game on analysis, sorting the bad things out, sorting the good things out. It’s nice to know what you work hard on works so well. We’re two-and-a-half years down the line now, so we’re all converted; it’s just working on little things now and hoping we can still get better.
Davies points to the goalscoring form of Bobby Zamora as a real bonus too.
Last year, playing with him you could see what he brought to the team but maybe only playing could you appreciate that. This year, he’s absolutely on fire.
Jonathan Wilson also digs out a wonderful quote from Swedish academic Tomas Peterson on Hodgson’s influence at Halmstad.
[Hodgson] threaded together a number of principles, which could be used in a series of combinations and compositions, and moulded them into an organic totality – an indivisible project about how to play football. Every moment of the match was theorised, and placed as an object lesson for training-teaching, and was looked at in a totality.