Taylor tells doubters to give Hodgson a fair go

Former England manager Graham Taylor has urged all those who have been questioning Roy Hodgson's suitability for the post to lay off the new man in charge.  

Updated: May 09, 2012 09:09 IST
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London: Former England manager Graham Taylor has urged all those who have been questioning Roy Hodgson's suitability for the post to lay off the new man in charge.

Hodgson was only confirmed in the post last week, but the way some sections of the British media have reacted to his appointment has stirred some uncomfortable memories for Taylor.

The Sun tabloid, Britain's biggest-selling newspaper, responded to Hodgson's elevation to the England job by mocking the West Bromwich Albion manager's manner of speech with a headline of 'Bwing on the Euwos!' (We'll see you in Ukwaine against Fwance)'.

Taylor was not alone in being dismayed but he had more reason than most to sympathise with Hodgson.

In 1992, Taylor was depicted as a turnip in the Sun after England's defeat by Sweden ended their involvement in thay year's European Championships.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp had long been championed throughout the British media as the man to succeed Fabio Capello.

The Italian resigned from the England post in protest at the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy of the national side.

But the FA opted to ignore the claims of the 'fans favourite' and instead chose Hodgson.

He is vastly more experienced than the Spurs boss in international football, having managed Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland.

His globetrotting career has also included spells in charge of several European clubs including Italian giants Inter Milan.

Taylor said on Tuesday he hoped the 64-year-old Hodgson would be spared criticism for not being Redknapp.

"There is a small section of people who have already made their minds up about Roy," he said. "Harry was their lad -- and he hasn't got the job.

"I just hope they are fair and deal with Roy in a fair way because it can have a significant effect.

"When we lost to Sweden, it was my second defeat in 24 games, but it meant we weren't going into the later stages.

"That is fair enough. But the way it was handled opened me up to being held responsible for everything that goes wrong.

"In addition, my authority with the players was diminished because it all became a big laugh.

"From that moment on, it was harder for me as a person to maintain the authority I had prior to it."

Taylor argued that the fact Hodgson had been appointed so close to the start of next month's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine could work in both his and the team's favour.

"The players and, to a degree, Roy as well, already have a reason if things don't go well," Taylor said.

"When you have that, it is surprising how well you do.

"There is very little time for the new manager and players to gel and know how each other work. We all know that.

"But if they don't do very well it won't be their fault. It will be the FA's fault, because the FA get blamed for almost everything.

"How can we expect anything?," he added. "Look at the group we are in. France in the first game, then Sweden, then one of the co-hosts, Ukraine. That is not an easy group."

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