Roy Hodgson – The Failed Project

Following what was probably the lowest moment in the history of the England national football team on Monday – a 2-1 loss to Iceland knocking them out of Euro 2016 – the resignation of manager Roy Hodgson was immediate.

After he announced his resignation to the press in a speech that seemed curiously pre-prepared, and then refused to take any questions (until he – in typical Hodgson fashion – changed his mind the next day), English supporters around the world were understandably furious, whether that be because they wanted answers for such a terrible performance, or because many had just realised Wales had progressed further than their beloved Three Lions.

However, part of what made the resignation of Roy Hodgson even more disappointing, was that it was a confirmation that the last four years had been completely wasted.

Many felt that England were finally making progress under Hodgson, with a 100% record in the qualifying campaign, the slow but sure inclusion of young and exciting players, and the beating of the likes of Germany and France in friendlies meaning it looked like England may be getting back to where they once were.

Sadly the truth is that England’s loss to Iceland and the resignation of Hodgson was just the climax of a calamity of errors since his appointment, a sign that actually he had been taking England downhill since the start.

When he was put in charge for Euro 2012, a controversial choice considering the overwhelming public feeling that Harry Redknapp was the right man for the job, his first mission was to steady the ship, to work from the back and build for success.

The thing is, in Euro 2012 it seemed like he was off to a good start, with England only being knocked out on penalties against Italy after what was actually a solid performance in the quarter-final.

Afterwards the public were relatively satisfied, thinking now England can progress, work on developing a perfect system to keep up with the giant countries, and hopefully find some sort of success during the Hodgson era.

Unfortunately, the England fans were unaware that what they had just watched was the best it was going to get during his tenure.

The 2014 Brazil World Cup was the early sign that things were actually starting to go backwards, and as Hodgson avoided the sack after that, Euro 2016 proved it.

The tournament epitomised everything that Roy Hodgson’s time as England manager was, a manager who did everything the fans didn’t want him to do, and a string of unsatisfactory performances beautifully crowned with the ultimate embarrassment.

Harry Kane taking set pieces? Making six team changes just after they hit form? Restricting the match time of potential game changers like Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford? Even bothering to take Jack Wilshere in the first place? What a joke of a man.

Hodgson’s mission was to steady the defence, create more goals, and build for success, and what did we end up with?

A goalkeeper who conceded three goals in Euro 2016 after facing just five shots, a team who only scored one goal from open play, and getting knocked out of a major international tournament in the Round of 16 by a team whose goalkeeper directed his country’s Eurovision music video and whose assistant manager is a part-time dentist.

No need to panic though because on Tuesday, Martin Glenn, CEO of England’s Football Association, publicly stated that he is “not a football expert”.

God help us.