Depending on your choice of news source, a Mr Roy Hodgson is being sought out by either Juventus or Inter Milan. Or both. I suppose this makes a change from the stream of “Hodgson for England” stories we had a couple of months ago.
Would he leave us though? So much has been achieved this season, at club level and on a personal level (LMA Manager of the Year anyone?) and I think Roy is the type of person to stay put to build on past successes. Certainly in an interview with The Times a couple of weeks ago he seems to suggest that he’ll stay as long as he’s in contract, which of course he still is having signed a rolling contract back in December. It’s clear that Roy has the support of the Chairman which must be an important factor when considering whether to move elsewhere, although whether this will be translated into job security or a generous transfer budget remains to be seen.
Also, in the case of Inter Milan is there not added pressure leaving a club like “little old Fulham” to manage a team that has just secured a top European title? How can a manager improve on that? What expectation will the Board have? Taking the Juventus job could be more of a challenge initially but it is also a club with a successful history, and therefore high expectations.
I’d be concerned if we lost Roy for two reasons. Firstly, the obvious question of who would replace him? The current available managers don’t generally inspire much confidence in me to be honest (mentioning no names) so we might have to poach someone, and paying compensation to a club for their manager could put a sizeable dent in any transfer pot. Secondly, would Roy’s departure spark an mass exodus? A number of first team regulars have lauded Roy in the media, and Roy has been credited with rekindling some careers that were beginning to dim. Mark Schwarzer has even gone as far as to say that he’ll consider staying but only if Roy stays. Eeek. No pressure then.
Like I said, I can’t see Roy going but only time will tell. I guess this is one of the downsides of having such a successful season – the speculation about every aspect of the club, the squad, the manager, even the Chairman’s involvement. But hey, if a couple of months of speculation is the price we have to pay I’m all for it.