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Well, the search is over, England has a brand new manager.  64 year old Roy Hodgson, the West Brom boss takes over from Fabio Capello on a four year contract.  The 64-year-old admitted that he did not have much time to settle into the job before Euro 2012 but said: “It’s going to be difficult of course but hopefully I’ve got time.  Obviously I’ve been working here for the last five years so the players are pretty well known to me even though I haven’t worked with them all.  I’ve done as much research and spoken to as many people as I can."


Roy HodgsonRoy HodgsonHe will continue to lead the Baggies for their last two games of the Premier League season when his contract expires on 30th June 2012.  Throughout his 36 years as a manager, he has managed 18 teams, including three national sides.

The FA brought on their first manager in 1947.  Prior to that, they were managed by the "International Selection Committee" and since then, there has been 17 managers including Roy.  Of all these managers, Kevin Keegan has the worst record in terms of game wins in the World Cup and European Championship.  He only won seven out of 18 games played – 39%.  Compare this to Fabio Capello.  He got them through 28 wins out of 42 games – 67%.The best on record.

Roy commented:  “I’m a very happy man to be given the chance to manage my country,” he said.  “I’m looking forward to the task ahead. Everyone knows it’s not an easy one.  I know everyone in the country will get behind the team because it’s the team that counts.  While I do it, I will do my very best to prepare the team as well as possible for the tasks that lie ahead.  I’m grateful for the chance to be the manager of England and I look forward to it.  The only way I can win people over is by doing the job I know I can do.  Firstly I need to do it with the players to show I can improve the team, but it’s also important that the rest of the country buys into it.”

Roy confirmed that;

-          He will speak to John Terry and Rio Ferdinand about playing together again

-          England’s Euro 2012 squad will be announced at the end of the Premier League season

-          It is his intention to include Wayne Rooney in that squad

-          He is yet to decide who will be captain

Tottenham boss, Harry Redknapp, who was the favourite for the job wished Roy the best saying:  “England football is very important for the country but I don't know if it is as important any more to the players. That is the problem.  People like Bobby Moore, when they were picked, would have walked there.  But for some of the younger players it's more about club than country, which is a shame.”

However Roy has many difficult days ahead. The job of the England manager is to win games, not win over the press. But the UK press had questions for him at his first conference as England manager which was peppered with questions about the man invariably described, accurately or otherwise, as "the people's choice". Had the two men spoken? What did Hodgson think of Redknapp not getting the job? Why did the FA not interview the Spurs manager?

This is a ‘hearts and mind’ scenario and in the eyes of many English fans as well as the press, Hodgson appointment has stunned them.

If he was unaware of the scrutiny and treatment that the England manager's job would bring then events over the past few days will have firmly hammered that point home. Playing the media game will not save him - only results can do that.

From Ireland’s perspective we wish him well. But to be honest, can he really deliver the goods in less than five weeks? Logic would dictate that it’s an impossible task to cement together a cohesive team that will or can do just that in the limited time frame he has been handed.

Ireland may have a tough group to get out of but at least they know the managers game plan. England on the other hand has no idea of the new mangers plans. And that’s the problem with five weeks to go before Euro 2012.

UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine 8th June – 1st July


*Special point of note for Irish fans

If you’re travelling to Poland and Ukraine for the matches be careful about your health.
Travellers should be aware of an ongoing measles outbreak in many countries in Europe.
Since January 2012, Ukraine has reported more than 5100 cases so far.
The Ukrainian outbreak is concentrated near the border with Hungary, Poland and Slovakia,
but it is expected that the outbreak will increase in the next few months and spread to more areas.
As measles is highly infectious and vaccine coverage in the Ukraine is low,
there is a high chance of exposure to the measles virus.
People who are unvaccinated or who are not immune to measles will at significant risk of infection. 
Travellers should also be aware of other infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis.

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