Roy Hodgson may not have stepped into the England manager’s role with quite the same reputation as some of his recent predecessors, but what he lacks in top level success he is certainly making up for in enthusiasm.
Over recent years players seem to have grown to consider playing for England as a burden, an inconvenience that they could do without. After watching squad after squad filled with players who could win the Champions league at club level but fail to make any impression in major international tournaments, it seems that Roy Hodgson has had enough apart from just improving England’s results and scores he also wants to restore pride in the shirt.
"When people are called up I expect them to come running, get on a bicycle and cycle to the training session if they have to, then they shake hands with everyone and tell everyone how happy they are to be there” he told news sport reporters.
Since becoming England manager it seems that Hodgson has had to endure more than his fair share of disruption caused by withdrawals from his squad. His message to those players who regularly pull out of squads for no good reason seems be simple- if you aren’t interested in playing for England then we aren’t interested in you.
"It is very simple for me: to be asked to play for England is a major honour and a major feather in people's caps," said Hodgson. "I am not interested in people who are deciding whether England is where they want to be or whether they want to be somewhere else.”
After the apathy of the Eriksson, McClaren and Capello eras, Roy Hodgson’s pride and belief in the England squad and what it means to play for England is a real breath of fresh air. If Roy can pass his enthusiasm on to his young charges then all might not be lost for England just yet.