News

Five things we learned from Roy Hodgson's first interview since Euro 2016

From standing by the Harry Kane corner controversy to turning down Strictly, former England boss Roy Hodgson remains defiant.

A lot can change in a year. This time 12 months ago, Roy Hodgson’s exciting young England side reversed a two-goal deficit to claim a dramatic 3-2 win over Germany in Munich.

Fast-forward to June, however, and England were dumped out of Euro 2016 after a humiliating last-16 loss against minnows Iceland. The 2-1 humbling in Nice was widely regarded as one of the Three Lions’ worst ever losses – and one that proved the final nail in the coffin of Hodgson’s four-year England reign.

Now, on the eve of another England visit to face World Cup winners in Germany under new boss Gareth Southgate, Hodgson has spoken publicly for the first time since resigning as national team boss in a candid and wide-ranging interview with The Big Issue.

England manager Roy Hodgson during a press conference ahead of Euro 2016. Photographer: Michael Zemanek/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

Here are five things we learned from the conversation…

1. The former Fulham, Liverpool and England boss had not re-watched England’s defeat to tournament debutants Iceland since resigning.

“I consign it to history. I don’t need to watch it, I have a perfectly good idea of what happened and why it happened.”

England exit Euro 2016 after a humiliating defeat to minnows Iceland in the last 16 in Nice.

2. He believes his England legacy should be his nurturing of young talent. However, despite leading England to a perfect qualifying campaign for Euro 2016, acknowledges that the proof is in the pudding and he’ll be judged for his lack of international silverware.

“I certainly didn’t feel suicidal [after the Iceland defeat] and I certainly didn’t feel self-doubt either because I think probably the four years, especially the last two years after the World Cup, fashioning a team from a very young group of players, many of whom weren’t even in their club side, and playing the sort of football we were capable of playing – we were playing very, very well.

“I am very, very proud of that achievement. I think it is probably the best work, in many ways, that I did or have done so far. But of course, any work you do as a sporting person, a football coach or any coach, if it is good work you’ve got to have something – a championship – to show for it.”

3. Hodgson rejects the fierce criticism he faced for his controversial decisions to put star striker Harry Kane on corners at Euro 2016, and in making six changes from the side that beat Wales for the costly Slovakia stalemate.

“They are nonsense. People should be ashamed of those things. Why shouldn’t Harry Kane take corners? If he happens to be the best striker of a ball in the team and gives you the best delivery why shouldn’t he do it? And the ‘six’ changes are actually four changes from the team who were on the field at the end of the game against Wales. Questions would have been asked if I’d left out Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge after they came on as substitutes at half-time and scored [against Wales]. I was totally uninterested in those type of comments, which I regard as purely irrelevant and dishonest. No one whose opinion I respect would have said anything like that, otherwise I would have heard about it.”

Former Labour MP Ed Balls competes on Strictly Come Dancing.

4. He’s not a dancer. The 69-year-old revealed that he turned down an invitation from the BBC to compete in Strictly Come Dancing following his resignation as England manager.

“I’d have been another Ed Balls! I’ve never regarded myself as a celebrity, I have regarded myself as a professional football manager, a job which I have done for many years and think I do well. I’m quite proud of my achievements. But I don’t think that lifts me into the celebrity world.”

Roy Hodgson is unveiled as Liverpool manager at Anfield in 2010. Photographer: Anonymous/AP/REX/Shutterstock

5. Having already managed teams in Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Norway and Finland, he’s happy to move abroad for his next football job if opportunity knocks.

“It doesn’t matter, home or abroad. It’s only my wife and me, our son is in America and we are not tied to this country like a lot of people are through family. We are pretty independent. If something comes up abroad we can go. There is no other job for me. It’s a bit late in the day to start becoming a shopkeeper!”

Big Issue vendors are back!

It’s not just the shops that are opening again. From Monday 12th April onwards,  Big Issue vendors are back in business, with a big smile and a stack of magazines. Buy from your local vendor today!

Find out more

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
June 2024 payment dates for DWP benefits – plus changes to universal credit
money in wallet/ dwp benefits
Benefits

June 2024 payment dates for DWP benefits – plus changes to universal credit

Gen Z want to buy houses, smoke weed and do crimes, report finds. What does this mean for UK's future?
Generation Z

Gen Z want to buy houses, smoke weed and do crimes, report finds. What does this mean for UK's future?

Post-Brexit border checks to cost £4.7bn. Here's how that money could be better spent
The white cliffs of Dover, where Brexit border controls will come into force
Brexit

Post-Brexit border checks to cost £4.7bn. Here's how that money could be better spent

Archbishop of Canterbury joins growing calls for end to 'cruel' and 'immoral' two-child benefit cap
archbishop of canterbury
Two-child benefit cap

Archbishop of Canterbury joins growing calls for end to 'cruel' and 'immoral' two-child benefit cap

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know