Buying Harry Redknapp out of his Spurs’ contract was going to be expensive and West Brom boss Hodgson has a CV any manager would be proud of.
Hodgson has been there, done it, got the t-shirt, and thrown the t-shirt away because he doesn’t need a stupid t-shirt to prove he’s been there and done it, he’s got trophies – 11 big shiny ones.
During a 36-year managerial career, he’s been at the helm of some of the sport’s biggest clubs, and enjoyed a near-miraculous tenure in charge of the Swiss national side that had the perennial footballing also-rans reach number three in the FIFA rankings – a place higher than England have ever managed. Let’s not forget that international experience is something no England manager to date has ever had prior to the job.
In light of this fine record, the tabloids’ reaction to Hodgson’s appointment didn’t feature the bitter derision most expected. The majority of the red tops’ sports editorials hit roughly the same disappointed, but nonetheless pragmatically optimistic, note. Save for The Sun, which, employing the wit of pre-eminently uninventive eight-year-old playground bully, came up with a headline mocking Hodgson’s slight speech impediment.
When challenged by the FA and fellow media outlets, The Sun countered with
a defence from Jonathan Ross, who has a speech impediment very similar to Hodgson’s. The gaping holes in the primary-school logic that went into coming up with that idea should be plain to anyone, and, of course, it’s patently ridiculous to mock people for the way they speak – but is it morally wrong? Well yes, but it’s hardly the injustice of the century, or even the week, and it’s unlikely Hodgson gave it two second’s thought.
That said, imagine for a second if a Sun journalist had mimicked Hodgson’s speech impediment during the FA’s press conference – would that have been funny? No, it would have been pathetic. But on the moral continuum of wrong, it’s closer to ‘Chinese burn’ than ‘killing a kitten’. The Sun’s actions were simply moronic, and we all know the best way to treat morons is with fastidious condescending indifference.