Football is unique in terms of its universal popularity around the world and the issues and incidents which it throws up. However, there are many common elements of football which often appear in many other sports and Roy Hodgson seems to be looking for advice, information and maybe even a little guidance from leading national coaches on how they deal with these matters.
Hodgson has to be praised for thinking slightly outside of the box. He has already met England rugby boss Stuart Lancaster and has confirmed plans that he intends to talk with successful England coach Andy Flower among others. He will be able to get a completely unbiased view from outside coaches of the England team and any common issues which cross into other sports.
Player management is a big area that Hodgson should be discussing. Rugby, cricket and athletics are all sports that require precise and perfect player or athlete management. This is similar to the burnout issue in football. What this will allow Hodgson to do is get a different view on how top level professionals should be treated and managed. It’s just unfortunate that England football matches are so rare that Hodgson cannot freely squad rotate without causing major unrest.
“He (Lancaster) has produced an incredible PowerPoint presentation on how he set about changing the mentality and culture. Sir Clive Woodward and I are going to do a television programme where we are going to talk about our various coaching experiences,” said Hodgson.
Another aspect of this where Hodgson deserves some credit is going into the setups of winning and successful teams. The England rugby team has experienced recent World Cup success, Sir Clive Woodward was the coach at the time. The England cricket team is similar with three Ashes wins from the last four series and success in the Twenty20 World Cup back in 2010.
Fingers crossed that the England football team will have a great deal of success in the close future and if they do, Hodgson will be in the best possible position to deal with that success and use it positively to stop players’ egos from getting carried away. It’s clear that he wants to guide England to some success and he will be in a great position to do so.
The saying goes ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ but Hodgson could well learn something as he does his rounds which would be beneficial for the country in a football sense. If he sees something in a presentation or hears something from talking with more successful coaches then there is no harm in him replicating that.