ROY HODGSON might have signed a four-year deal as England boss.
But in reality, I reckon he’s got a couple of months to prove himself.
Expectations have always been massive in this country, and we’ve seen the likes of Graham Taylor, Glenn Hoddle, Kevin Keegan and Steve McLaren struggle to cope with the unique pressure of the national job.
With Euro 2012 looming, Hodgson is already up against it because he’s not Harry Redknapp.
Harry seemed to be the choice of the public and the press, and he was certainly mine.
I’m still disappointed the Football Association didn’t go for the Tottenham chief.
But it’s not Hodgson’s fault, and there’s no denying he has his qualities.
He’s worked with 16 clubs, including Inter Milan, in eight countries and has been in charge of Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland, and that’s a fair amount of experience.
And while there’s a question mark over his spell at Liverpool, he worked wonders by taking Fulham to the final of the Europa League.
Hodgson has also established West Brom, previously a yo-yo club, in the Premier League this season.
It all leads to a more-than-decent CV, and hopefully the public, unlike some of the tabloids, will do the decent thing and get behind him as we start the countdown to Euro 2012.
Time, of course, is at a premium, particularly as Hodgson will continue to look after West Brom until the end of the domestic season.
The timing of the appointment means he’ll have to hit the ground running as he prepares for tough Euro games stage against improving France, Sweden, who are always stubborn opponents, and co-hosts Ukraine.
Hodgson has two friendlies, in Norway and against Belgium at Wembley, in which to fine-tune, and we’ll all be eager to see his team selection, bearing in mind we’ll be without Wayne Rooney for the first two Euro games.
He also has the John Terry-Rio Ferdinand situation to sort, so man-management is going to be an important part of his skill set.
I HAVE sympathy for Rangers supporters – but also for the Scottish Football Association.
They are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to sorting out the mess that is Ibrox.
The ruling body north of the border have been heavily criticised for placing a transfer embargo on the cash-strapped Glasgow giants.
It’s even led to suggestions that they could end up in the Scottish Third Division, playing the likes of East Stirling, Albion Rovers and Forfar Athletic.
That does seem unthinkable, yet it’s Rangers, not the SFA, who have got themselves into the situation they are now struggling to deal with, and to the neutral observer, it’s still hard to see how a club commanding such a large and loyal support base can end up in such strife.
Rules are rules, and how can it be one for Rangers and a different one for somebody else?
Of course the complication is that a healthy Rangers is important for the long-term future of the Scottish game.
At least there was some let-up to the misery for the fans when Dundee United were put to the sword last midweek.
That 5-0 result was also great news for Motherwell.
With Rangers ruled out of European football next season because of their financial problems, Motherwell are now set to play in the Champions League, with Dundee United the only side who could have denied them third place.
So it’s congratulations to their manager Stuart McCall – a proper Yorkshireman!
IT WAS great to see Marcus Stewart again last week.
He was down at Yeovil to see us off on the Pedal For Pounds 3 fund-raising bike ride back to Huddersfield.
Marcus and I finally played in the same Town team in last year’s Masters tournament in Manchester.
I’m not sure whether we’ll get another invite this year – or whether I will have recovered from the cycling!
Well done to everyone who took part.